China prepared new security rules for local companies buying non-domestic technology equipment, requiring purchases of critical information infrastructure to be reviewed on national security grounds, The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported.
The new rules, which were part of draft cybersecurity regulations announced by the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) nearly a year ago, are due to go into effect 1 June.
China’s move comes at a time of rising tensions between the nation and the US, and widespread security concerns about Chinese vendors’ 5G gear, which prompted many countries to require a formal security review of any next-generation deployment plans. Governments in both New Zealand and Australia blocked operators from using Huawei’s 5G equipment.
Many governments have been pressured by the US to stop Chinese vendors from supplying network equipment to operators. Mobile operators in the US face a de facto ban on buying network gear from China-based companies due to national security concerns.
The UK government was an exception, clearing Huawei after a review to continue to supply equipment for 5G networks in the country, but said it would put additional safeguards in place, excluding “high risk vendors” from core parts of telecoms networks, deemed critical to security.
US companies had raised concerns the proposed purchasing reviews could put overseas companies at a disadvantage in China.
In a statement, the CAC said the rules aren’t intended to restrict or discriminate against overseas businesses, WSJ wrote.
Local companies will need to submit purchase documents and details of the potential impact on national security to the government, with a review taking 45 days, but potentially being extended to three months, the newspaper said.