BEIJING May 31 China's top cyber authority said
on Wednesday it is not targeting foreign firms with a
controversial national cyber law set to come into effect on
More than 50 overseas companies and business groups have
lobbied against the law, which includes stringent data storage
and surveillance requirements.
"The purpose is to safeguard [China's] national cyberspace
sovereignty and national security... rather than to restrict
foreign enterprises," the Cyberspace Administration of China
(CAC) said in a statement on its website.
The law, which was passed by China's rubber-stamp parliament
in November, requires local and overseas firms to submit to
security checks and store user data within the country. Business
groups argue the regulations are vague, and leave foreign firms
vulnerable to abstract interpretations of the law.
Earlier this month Reuters reported that the CAC met foreign
business groups in a closed-door meeting to try to allay fears
over the law and discuss an 18-month phase-in of the
regulations, according to attendees.
The notice on Wednesday made no mention of a phase-in
period. It added that the law is not designed to hinder
international trade or the flow of data across the Chinese
Mandatory reviews of outbound data have been a particular
point of contention for foreign groups, which say the rules are
more restrictive than regulations in other markets.
China maintains a strict censorship regime, banning access
to foreign news outlets, search engines and social media
including Google and Facebook.
(Reporting by Cate Cadell; Editing by Adrian Croft)