Global business groups urge China to suspend bank IT rules

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Business associations from the United States, Japan and Europe told Chinese officials on Monday they still have “strong concerns” about bank information technology rules and urged Beijing to formally suspend them.

The joint letter, from 31 trade associations, increases pressure rules pushing China’s state-owned banks to buy technology from domestic vendors, which the U.S. trade has said could breach China’s international trade commitments.

The “buy domestic” rule is one of several recent moves by China that have antagonized the U.S. and its technology companies, including a draft anti-terrorism law assailed by President Barack Obama last month.

The groups, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the Services Forum and the Japan Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said the rules and other policies discriminate against foreign providers of and information and communications technology (ICT) products, solutions and services.
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A senior U.S. Treasury official said on March 30 China had agreed to suspend implementation of the rules, but the groups – which include organizations representing companies like Systems, Apple Inc, International Business Machines Corp, Microsoft Corp, Oracle Corp, and Inc – said banks were continuing to implement the rules.

“We therefore urge the Chinese leadership to officially suspend implementation of the guidelines through a written notice, publicize them as a proposal, and initiate a formal public consultation consistent with China’s international obligations,” said the letter, to the Chinese Communist Party Central Leading Group for Cyberspace Affairs.

The groups said they were also concerned about similar initiatives in the telecommunications sector and a broad review of cyber security, asking that companies and foreign governments be consulted.(Reuters)