China has announced an initiative to push towards global standards on data security, but has also thrown shade at the United States for its recent TikTok bans.
According to Reuters, State Councilor Wang Yi called for tech companies to avoid installing backdoors into their products and services, as well as for everyone to respect everyone else’s sovereignty, jurisdiction and data management rights.
He also called all the participants to refrain from large-scale surveillance of other countries, as well as from illegally acquiring information on foreign citizens. We don’t know who the other participants or members of the initiative are.
“Global data security rules that reflect the wishes of all countries and respect the interests of all parties should be reached on the basis of universal participation by all parties,” Wang said.
He then proceeded to take a poke at the US, albeit indirectly:
“Some individual countries are aggressively pursuing unilateralism, throwing dirty water on other countries under the pretext of ‘cleanliness’, and conducting global hunts on leading companies of other countries under the pretext of security. This is naked bullying and should be opposed and rejected.”
Last month, the US announced it would be eliminating “untrusted” Chinese apps through a program called “Clean Network”. It is also pressing TikTok, a Chinese video sharing app, into selling its US business to an American company, under threats of a full ban.
But the US is not the only country trying to put its technology sector under tight control. China censors its own space quite vigorously, especially through the Great Firewall, a nation-wide firewall that blocks access to many US social media sites.