In September 2015, President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping announced an agreement on broad anti-hacking principles to curb the theft of corporate trade secrets. The pact was spurred by a series of data breaches targeting U.S. companies and government agencies, including the Office of Personnel management, allegedly perpetrated by China-based hackers.
When it came to taking on the hackers and improving overall cybersecurity, the Obama administration took things seriously with a recently proposed $19 billion Cybersecurity National Action Plan. Now, it seems China is starting to take cybersecurity seriously too.
On March 25, a group of Chinese companies, including Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent, joined with universities and research institutes to found the nation’s first cybersecurity organization, according to the South China Morning Post.
The CyberSecurity Association of China will be governed by the country’s top Internet regulator—the Cyberspace Administration—and “will play a guiding role in cybersecurity governance, help promote self-discipline in the industry and push for the establishment of industry standards,” it said.
However, don’t expect to see the association pushing for improvements to China’s online privacy regime or to information access.
The 257 founding members of the newly-formed association tapped Fang Binxing — known as the “Father of China’s Great Firewall” — to head the organization. And a recent European Union-requested report on data privacy under Chinese law found that China “doesn’t unequivocally grant individual rights to information, access and rectification.”
“One cannot talk about a proper data protection regime in China, at least not as it is perceived in the EU,” it said.
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