China tightens the reins on cyber security

Computer keyboard with a "China" and "Security" button
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Chinese tech experts who find any flaws in computer security will be required to tell the Chinese government. Furthermore, the government will forbid them from selling that knowledge for profit.

That’s according to new rules further tightening the Chinese Communist Party’s control over digital information, as the Associated Press reported.

These rules, which take effect September 1, will ban private-sector cyber security experts who find zero-day or previously unknown security weaknesses from selling that information to police, spy agencies, or companies.

China’s government is increasingly sensitive about its control over information on China’s people and economy.


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For example, Chinese companies are barred from storing data about Chinese customers outside of China. Banks and other entities deemed sensitive must use only Chinese-made security products wherever possible. Foreign vendors that sell routers and some other network products in China must disclose to regulators how any encryption features work.

Under the Cyberspace Administration of China's new cyber security rules, anyone in China who finds a vulnerability must tell the government. The government will then decide what repairs to make.

No one may “collect, sell or publish information on network product security vulnerabilities,” according to the rules. Also, no information can be given to “overseas organizations or individuals” other than the product’s manufacturer.

The ruling party’s military wing, the People’s Liberation Army (PLA), is a leader in cyber warfare technology alongside the US and Russia. US prosecutors have previously charged PLA officers with hacking American companies to steal technology and trade secrets.