China’s new data security initiative has implications for India

This article was first published in Deccan Chronicle. Views are personal.

Recently, the Chinese government announced the launch of a new Data Security Initiative. Outlining its components, Foreign Minister Wang Yi said he hoped that China can provide a “blueprint” for the formulation of international rules for digital security.

The Chinese initiative entails eight broad principles, which include a call for supply chain stability, pledges against data theft and surveillance, norms for data storage and access, and a requirement for technology companies to not abuse their market dominance.

Wang’s announcement came a month after the United States launched its new Clean Network program in early August.

The US initiative explicitly seeks to exclude Chinese telecommunications firms, apps, cloud service providers, and undersea cables from internet infrastructure used by the US and partner countries. The initiative draws upon a range of different standards, such as the Prague Proposals and the European Union’s 5G Toolbox.