• The new cybersecurity law issued by China seeks to protect online users.

The new cybersecurity law issued by China seeks to protect online users. (Photo : Getty Images)

In a recent gathering of developers and technology companies, China was asked to tighten security online.

President Xi Jinping opened the World Internet Conference and called for "more fair and equitable" governance of the Internet."

Xi said that China's position is to promote "Internet sovereignty" over its 700 million Internet users. Top leaders declared the country's willingness to work with the global industry for mutual benefit.

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During the conference, a commentary was released by the Communist Party through the People's Daily to break monopolies and break from the technologies of other countries.

China recently issued a broad cybersecurity law that gives law enforcement greater powers to access private data. This law requires data to be stored locally on Chinese servers.

Article 10 of the law states, "companies that build, maintain the Internet or provide service through the Internet shall follow laws and administrative regulations as well as mandatory requirements set by the state's standards."

It also states, "They shall take technical and other necessary measures to ensure the Internet is functioning safely and stably, handle cybersecurity incidents effectively, prevent cyber criminal activities, and maintain the integrity, secrecy, and usability of Internet data."

Foreign trade groups signed a statement in protest of the new law.

Human rights groups reacted against it, saying that the government is breaching privacy. Technology firms from the U.S. firms have lobbied against the measure.

The statement said, "We are concerned that these commitments are undermined by public statements and other forms of high-level guidance that call for indigenous and controllable substitution plans for information technology products and services."

Beijing persists that the new law will break its dependence on the U.S. The Communist Party's commentary said that the law was aimed "particularly by breaking monopolies over core technologies and standards and not allowing other countries to control vital supply chains."