USTR slams China telecoms secrecy

Robert Clark
telecomasia.net
The Trade Representative (USTR) has attacked the secrecy and unpredictability of Chinese telecoms officials, calling for the introduction of mandatory notice period in the planned telecom law.
 
In its annual report on telecom market access issues - known as the 1377 report - the USTR said Chinese authorities routinely set criteria for foreign firms that were “often extremely vague, and not specified in any publicly available rules.”
 
It cited as examples the Green Dam fiasco last year – where hardware firms were given two months’ notice of mandatory web filtering software to be bundled in all PCs – and the requirement that mobile phones be equipped with China’s proprietary WAPI security technology.
 
Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) officials had acknowledged that they had not published any measures setting out the WAPI requirement, and China had not notified this requirement to the WTO, the report said.
 
The lack of transparency affected suppliers of both services and equipment and “feeds a widespread perception amongst foreign industry and governments that MITT—China’s telecommunications regulator which also has significant policy functions—may not be impartial with respect to all market participants,” the USTR said.
 
The agency called on China to implement transparency provisions in the WTO. It also said the pending telecom law should include a mandatory notice and comment period.

 

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