The Chinese government is quietly scrutinising foreign technology products sold in the country, the New York Times reported on Tuesday.
According to the report, executives from companies like Apple are being called in by a Cyberspace Administration of China committee to explain, in person, things like encryption and data storage.
There are multiple reasons why the Chinese government would do such a thing. First and foremost, to see if the products are secure and its users are not being spied upon. Other countries do that as well, but according to the report – not for wide consumer electronics.
Another reason for such practice could be to extract the knowledge.
There’s also the idea of (un)blocking products in exchange for market access. The Chinese government still controls the market (at least to some extent), and with the knowledge of the devices being sold there, it could hold a larger monopoly.
The Chinese government basically denied everything.
“Chinese officials have not formally disclosed that they are conducting the reviews,” the New York Times writes, adding that they have ‘not disclosed the nature of the checks’ either.
The Chinese government has been quite happy placing obstacles in the way of foreign technology companies, as means of supporting its own products. YouTube, Twitter and Facebook, among other services, are frequently banned, or access to these services becomes limited.
Chinese regulators have also shut down iBooks and iTunes Movies, as well.
“Under President Xi Jinping, China has taken steps to keep tabs on technology from American companies and reduce the nation’s dependence on it,” New York Times added.
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