China is debuting a new initiative to set worldwide standards for data security, according to a new report from The Wall Street Journal (WSJ).
The new idea runs contrary to the U.S.’s efforts to get similarly-minded companies to wall-off their data from China-backed ventures.
Wang Yi, the Chinese foreign minister, is set to announce the plan on Tuesday (Sept. 8) at a Beijing seminar on global digital governance, sources told WSJ.
A briefing on the new plan that Chinese diplomats presented to foreign counterparts, provided to WSJ, says global solutions could be needed to combat risks to data security, and “what is pressing now is to formulate global rules and norms that reflect the aspiration and interests of the majority of countries,” according to WSJ.
The plan is called the “Global Initiative on Data Security” and would entail all countries to use a “comprehensive, objective and evidence-based manner” to handle data security, working with secure, open supply channels to communicate with each other, documents made available to WSJ say.
The new plan comes as tensions rise between Beijing and Washington D.C. over trade issues and tech competition, which have brought out the possibility of a divided internet across the globe. The Trump administration has been adamantly against what it claims are security concerns from tech firms like Huawei and popular app-makers like ByteDance, which produces the immensely well-trafficked video-sharing app TikTok.
Meanwhile, Chinese officials say the U.S. is putting a double standard into play which would disadvantage Chinese firms' expansion.
Data security has become more important than ever due to the pandemic, which saw fraudsters pouncing at the opportunity to target victims while pretending to be brands or entities which had their best interests in mind as the economy largely shifted to digital means.
China, which has seen an uptick in rules for banking and cybersecurity, is looking to boost protections against fraud in general in its economy.