Chinese Network Security Review System to be Established

China's State Council Internet Information Office (SCIIO) announced on May 22 that a network security screening regime will be established in the near future for all IT companies operating in China, a move that could put foreign IT product and service providers at a disadvantage in the Chinese marketplace.

According to People.cn, the online version of the state-run People's Daily, the vetting process will focus on the "security and controllability" of products and services used for government procurement and critical industries "related to national security and the public interest," including communications, transportation, finance, and energy. The system is intended to "prevent product suppliers from illegally controlling, interfering in or interrupting user systems, or illegally collecting, storing, handling or exploiting user information." The review itself will include a testing and certification process, ongoing monitoring and administrative punishment. According to the People.cn report, any company, product or service that fails the test will be excluded from the Chinese market.

The SCIIO, which was established in 2011, is being reorganized to spearhead the new "China Central Network Security and Informatization Leading Small Group," which is being led by China President Xi Jinping and includes key officials from several relevant departments.