China will attempt to keep IT products spy-free with security checks

Trade groups are concerned China's cybersecurity-related regulations will push out foreign vendors from the country

China will start carrying out security checks of IT suppliers in the country, with the intent of keeping out internet products vulnerable to spying and hacking.

The new rules, which take effect in June, mean that foreign vendors will face more scrutiny -- including government-mandated background checks, and supply chain vetting -- when selling IT products to China’s major business sectors.

On Tuesday, the country’s Cyberspace Administration of China released the new rules, which call for the review of any important internet products and services that relate to the country’s security.

The rules appear to be quite broad. IT vendors selling to China’s finance, telecommunication, energy, and transportation sectors -- along with any other industry the government deems critical -- must have their products undergo the security checks.

Those checks will involve both third-party evaluators and government inspectors. They will also include product testing in labs, on-site examinations, and online monitoring.

The checks are designed to look at whether a product can be controlled or disrupted through illegal means, and whether it can unlawfully store or collect data on users.

The government will also review how the products are manufactured, tested, and delivered.  

China didn’t give any technical details on how the security reviews will occur. But a key concern is whether foreign tech companies will need to hand over any sensitive intellectual property, such as a product’s source code.

The rules released on Tuesday only state that third-party evaluators and other staff conducting the security checks must do so confidentially. Any information obtained about the products cannot be used for any other purposes.    

China has been talking about the need for IT product security checks since 2014, following several high-profile leaks from Edward Snowden that claimed the U.S. was secretly spying on the country’s schools and companies. However, trade groups are concerned Chinese action will push out foreign vendors from the market.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Michael Kan

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?