China announced a global data security plan which they would like to make the new international standard.
According to Wang Yi, the State Councilor, the program will mean that the Chinese government will not ask Chinese companies to yield data from foreign countries if it means that it breaks foreign laws.
The plan also asks the countries that will join the project not to conduct mass surveillance on other countries. So far, no government has signed up.
Wang said that the global data security rules reflect each country’s wishes and respect the interest of the parties involved, based on universal participation by all of them.
Bullies must be opposed
He continued to say that some individual countries are aggressively pursuing unilateralism, ‘throwing dirt on other countries’ using cleanliness as the pretext and launching global hunts on leading companies from other countries.
Wang called it bullying and encouraged everyone else to oppose and reject such behaviour.
Even though he did not name any nation specifically as a bully, it doesn’t take a genius to guess that he refers to the Trump administration’s aggressive bans on Bytedance’s TikTok, Tencent’s WeChat, and Huawei Technologies.
All these companies have been demonized in the name of threats to national security.
The national security pretexts
Wang said, “a certain country keeps making groundless accusations against others in the name of a ‘clean’ network.” He said that they use the security pretext to prey on foreign-owned enterprises that have gained a competitive edge abroad.
The announcement by Wang comes at an appropriate time. Trump said that TikTok would be banned if it was not sold to a U.S. buyer. The reason behind this was that the company is giving user data of American citizens to Beijing.
China created new legislation that means a sale can’t happen if TikTok doesn’t get a license to sell its tech to a foreign firm.