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Great firewall of China: State bids to protect its technology amid US trade row

The initiative follows US moves to restrict sales to Huawei Technologies and other Chinese tech firms on national security grounds.

The US has restricted dealings with Huawei on security grounds (Ng Han Guan/AP)
The US has restricted dealings with Huawei on security grounds (Ng Han Guan/AP)

China is creating a system to protect its technology, according to state media, as the US restricts the access of Chinese companies to American tech in a spiralling trade dispute.

The People’s Daily newspaper said the system will build a strong firewall to strengthen the nation’s ability to innovate and to accelerate the development of key technologies.

“China… will never allow certain countries to use China’s technology to contain China’s development and suppress Chinese enterprises,” the main paper of the ruling Communist Party said, without directly referring to the United States.

No details have been released about what China is calling a national technological security management list. The plan was announced in a brief dispatch from the official Xinhua News Agency.

The aim is to forestall and defuse national security risks more effectively, Xinhua said, adding that detailed measures would be unveiled in the near future.

The initiative follows US moves to restrict sales to Huawei Technologies and other Chinese tech firms on national security grounds.

The US has repeatedly drawn on its domestic law to exert pressure on Chinese high-tech enterprises. China's countermeasures against the US require more legal weapons Global Times newspaper

The US Commerce Department last month added Huawei to its list of entities that are engaged in activities contrary to US national security or foreign policy interests.

As such, any sale of US technology to Huawei will require Commerce Department approval.

China responded by saying its Commerce Ministry would develop its own list of foreign entities that it regards as “unreliable”.

This weekend’s announcement of plans for a technological security management list is clearly related to the unreliable entities list, the state-owned Global Times newspaper said.

It said the act would provide a legal basis to manage technology exports and counter American supply cutoffs to some Chinese companies.

“Since 2018, the US has repeatedly drawn on its domestic law to exert pressure on Chinese high-tech enterprises,” the English-language editorial read. “China’s countermeasures against the US require more legal weapons.”

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