ad info

  MAIN PAGE myCNN | Video | Audio | Headline News Brief | Free E-mail | Feedback
   east asia
   southeast asia
   south asia
   central asia

 Headline News brief
 news quiz
 daily almanac

 video archive
 multimedia showcase
 more services

Subscribe to one of our news e-mail lists.
Enter your address:
Get a free e-mail account

 message boards

CNN Websites
 En Español
 Em Português


Networks image
 more networks

 ad info


China's deadline for software registration running out

internet company

January 31, 2000
Web posted at: 5:02 p.m. HKT (0902 GMT)

In this story:

Journalists have been jailed in past

Some question the controversy

Analysts say ministries divided on plan


From staff and wire reports

BEIJING (CNN) -- Companies doing business in China were being threatened Monday with shutdowns if they didn't register their computer encryption software with government agencies by the end of the day.

Visions of China


The deadline is part of the Chinese government's new rules aimed at controlling the use, distribution and sale of non- Chinese encryption products used to protect computer data from hackers.

Representatives of some international companies have expressed concern the move, in addition to new controls in China regarding Internet content, will hurt both their businesses and e-commerce in China.

"Foreign companies, especially the (information technology) companies, won't be able to sell as many products as they plan in China," Jay Hu, with the U.S. Information Technology Office, told CNN.

The Chinese government announced last week it would be taking measures to control content on the Internet. Under the new rules, Web sites will undergo security checks to ensure they aren't "leaking state secrets."

Journalists have been jailed in past

State secrets, under China's definition, can mean that virtually any information not specifically approved for publication. China has jailed a number of journalists in the past for allegedly leaking state secrets. Communist Party opponents have also been targeted.

"All organizations and individuals are forbidden from releasing, discussing or transferring state secret information on bulletin boards, chat rooms or in Internet news groups," the State Bureau of Secrecy announced last week.

"Any Web site that provides or releases information on the World Wide Web must undergo security checks and approval," the rules state. Web sites -- and any organization with computer links to the Internet -- failing to safeguard against security breaches could be shut down.

Content within the traditional media -- newspapers, radio and television -- is strictly supervised. Communist Party officials hold key editorial positions to ensure party policy and ideology is upheld. However, China had not published by last week regulations governing Internet content, partly because it lacked legal experience in the area.

Some question the controversy

Industry analysts have said China's main motive is to better control and monitor the information passing through Chinese cyberspace. While some have complained about the move, others wonder what the controversy is about.

Charles Zhang, who runs one of China's most-popular Chinese- language search engines, is used to working around shifting, and sometimes arbitrary, government regulations. He says it goes with running a business in China.

"We are 4,000 years ... we've been accustomed to planning, to control and to order. So, I would say, to do business in China, try to think like a Chinese," Zhang said.

Steven Xi agrees. The chief executive officer of a Chinese online auction company said the new regulations don't bother him.

"We don't think our operation will be affected, and it will strictly comply with the Chinese regulations, including the proposed encryption regulations," he told CNN.

Analysts say ministries divided on plan

Analysts have said Chinese government ministries were divided on the issue, with security-related ministries arguing for more controls over the Internet, and economic ministries pressuring for greater openness.

China's Internet industry has grown quickly, with the number of users jumping from 2 million to at least 6 million in the past year.

Some major international companies -- including Intel, IBM, and Yahoo! -- have already made substantial investments in Chinese Web sites, despite government restrictions on outside investments.

Reuters contributed Beijing Bureau Chief Rebecca MacKinnon and to this report.


For more ASIANOW news, will bring you news from the areas and subjects you select.

See related sites about East Asia
East Asian media sites

Note: Pages will open in a new browser window
External sites are not endorsed by CNN Interactive.

U.S. secretary of state says China should be 'tolerant'

Philippine government denies Estrada's claim to presidency

Faith, madness, magic mix at sacred Hindu festival

Land mine explosion kills 11 Sri Lankan soldiers

Japan claims StarLink found in U.S. corn sample

Thai party announces first coalition partner


COVER: President Joseph Estrada gives in to the chanting crowds on the streets of Manila and agrees to make room for his Vice President

THAILAND: Twin teenage warriors turn themselves in to Bangkok officials

CHINA: Despite official vilification, hip Chinese dig Lamaist culture

PHOTO ESSAY: Estrada Calls Snap Election

WEB-ONLY INTERVIEW: Jimmy Lai on feeling lucky -- and why he's committed to the island state


COVER: The DoCoMo generation - Japan's leading mobile phone company goes global

Bandwidth Boom: Racing to wire - how underseas cable systems may yet fall short

TAIWAN: Party intrigues add to Chen Shui-bian's woes

JAPAN: Japan's ruling party crushes a rebel at a cost

SINGAPORE: Singaporeans need to have more babies. But success breeds selfishness

Launch CNN's Desktop Ticker and get the latest news, delivered right on your desktop!

Today on CNN
Search: AsiaNow TIME Only Asiaweek Only
Enter keyword(s):     help

Back to the top   © 2001 Cable News Network. All Rights Reserved.
Terms under which this service is provided to you.
Read our privacy guidelines.