Chinese President Xi Jinping Calls for Strengthening Security Barrier around China's Internet
President Xi emphasizes the need for the Communist Party's supervision to safeguard online data and information.
Beijing, 15 July 2023 - In a recent cybersecurity meeting, Chinese President Xi Jinping urged the country to establish a "solid" security barrier around its internet infrastructure. Under the watchful eye of the ruling Communist Party, President Xi emphasized the importance of safeguarding online data and maintaining strict control over cyberspace.
The state-run Xinhua news agency reported that President Xi stressed the need to adhere to the Party's management of the internet while ensuring that it serves the best interests of the people. Over the past decade, China has made security a top priority, with a broad concept of security covering not only political and economic aspects but also the environment and cyberspace.
To achieve this heightened security, China enacted a national security law in 2015, extending its scope to include cyberspace. Subsequently, a law was passed that mandated security reviews and required data to be stored on servers within the country. More recently, in 2021, China introduced regulations focused on critical information infrastructure, further tightening control over sensitive data.
In a bid to combat espionage and enhance national security, lawmakers updated anti-espionage legislation this year. This amendment imposes stricter restrictions on the transfer of information related to national security and broadens the definition of spying.
While these measures aim to bolster China's cybersecurity framework, companies operating within the country face complex challenges. Compliance with the country's dense network of rules and laws on online data and information carries potential risks. In some cases, companies have experienced unexpected visits from authorities, leading to scrutiny and investigations.
For instance, earlier this year, a U.S. consultancy firm, Bain & Co., reported that police visited its Shanghai office and questioned staff, while the police also seized computers and phones during the surprise visit, as reported by the Financial Times.
Moreover, last year, regulators ordered China's largest financial data provider, Wind Information Co, to stop providing certain data to offshore users. These incidents underline the risks that businesses may encounter as they navigate China's regulatory landscape.
Additionally, tech giants have not been immune to the country's cybersecurity measures. In 2021, Chinese authorities launched a cybersecurity investigation into Didi Global, a prominent ride-hailing company, just two days after its high-profile debut on the U.S. stock market.
As President Xi calls for a "solid" security barrier around China's internet and reinforces the country's commitment to cybersecurity, companies operating within China must carefully navigate the intricate regulatory environment while ensuring compliance with the Party's directives. The push for stronger cybersecurity measures reflects China's determination to maintain control over cyberspace and protect sensitive online data.