• Many experts see the proposed Internet reforms as determination on the part of China to push for an alternative to the U.S.-led world order.

Many experts see the proposed Internet reforms as determination on the part of China to push for an alternative to the U.S.-led world order. (Photo : REUTERS)

The Chinese government's latest edict on domestic cybersecurity is an ongoing matter of discussion at the highest levels of business and government after a joint letter was sent to Beijing last month.

Addressed to President Xi Jinping and the leadership of the Central Leading Group for Cyberspace Affairs, the letter was cosigned by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and other bodies that are gravely concerned about the implications of regulations that have thus far focused on the banking sector.

Like Us on Facebook

In essence, President Xi's government is now requiring foreign companies that wish to conduct business with China's banking organizations to provide the source code of its technology, comply with audits that are considered invasive by analysts, and ensure that "back doors" are incorporated into the design of all hardware and software.

After obtaining access to the government's 22-page document, the New York Times reported that Beijing is aiming to secure and control three quarters of China's banking technology by 2019. While China is seeking to enhance its cybersecurity measures in critical industries, the world's largest companies are very nervous that President Xi will eventually "change the locks" of the Chinese marketplace.

The global anxiety of the private technology sector is particularly jarring in terms of the worldwide geopolitical landscape, as the media at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland, last month reported on business and government leaders who looked to China with eager anticipation.

During an event in which Premier Li Keqiang delivered a notable speech that reassured international counterparts that China's "new normal" economy is not cause for panic, attendees seemed to be hyper-aware of the significant weight that China's economy represents. The same sentiment was present at this year's CES technology conference in Las Vegas, and is also expected at the upcoming CeBit technology event in Germany.

It may be time for executives in the boardrooms of hubs like Silicon Valley to calm down and extend a greater sense of trust toward the Chinese authorities--especially because Beijing's constituency is so incredibly valuable to their bottom lines.

Furthermore, the China Information Security Research Institute's Zuo Xiaodong made it clear to the New York Times that China remains "under the yoke of others," with Chinese companies still unable to produce some of the higher-end servers and mainframes that China's banks rely upon.

Nearly all of the key technological products that form the foundations of Chinese society are produced solely in multinational facilities. Although it might sometimes feel like it, China's international business partners need to accept that the sky is not falling in.