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China’s Cybersecurity Strategy for an Increasingly VUCA Digital Landscape

With increased spending on telecoms and other key sectors, China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology predicted that the nation’s cybersecurity industry will 250 billion yuan (US$40 billion) by 2023. Shanghai’s telecom, online finance and Internet service industries have promised to enhance security and increase spending for the city’s digital transformation in and increasingly VUCA (volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous) environment.

The security spending will pour into sectors like telecom and booming industries covering intelligent vehicles and industrial Internet. China’s online security service market revenue more than doubled, thanks to booming cloud, remote control and various other new services.

Moreover, to promote cybersecurity, Shanghai released two new cartoon images – Yulan and Hubao. A total of 22 short videos and numerous new types of artwork were presented during the opening session of the event in Shanghai. They covered topics and issues including data security, personal information protection and password security.

The city is using digital networks to improve city management. People need to heighten their awareness of cybersecurity in today’s digital society. These events help people parse online rumours from facts, prevent online fraud, and protect their personal information across various industries and areas.

Shanghai is going to release an official Shanghai data usage policy with 10 chapters and 91 detailed lines, with one chapter specifically on data security. With the new policy, Shanghai can manage public data resources from different bureaus in a unified network. By confirming “data rights” and how to use them, the policy will help the city improve digital management and boost innovation.

The cybersecurity situation is growing more severe every day, and people face grave risks and challenges in national politics, the economy, culture, society, national defence, security and citizens’ lawful rights and interests in cyberspace.

Cyberattacks threaten China’s economic security. Networks and information systems have become critical infrastructure for the entire economy and society. When they suffer from attacks and destruction, or major security incidents occur, it will lead to disastrous consequences and gravely harming national economic security and the public interest.

With the overall national security view as guidance, China will comprehensively plan the development of internal and external security, safeguard the interests of national sovereignty, and realise the strategic objective of building a strong cyber power.

As a secure, stable and flourishing cyberspace is of major importance to all countries, China is willing to, together with all countries, strengthen communication, expand consensus, deepen cooperation, vigorously move forward the reform of the global internet governance system, and jointly protect peace and security in cyberspace.

On the basis of mutual respect and mutual trust, China will participate in strengthening international cyberspace dialogue and cooperation, and promote the reform of the global Internet governance system. China will also deepen bilateral and multilateral cybersecurity dialogues and vigorously participate in cybersecurity cooperation in global and regional organisations.

As reported by OpenGov Asia, China has published an administrative regulation on major IT infrastructure security. The regulation stipulates that key IT infrastructure projects, which refer to IT network facilities and information systems of major industries in key areas, will come under the country’s special protection.

Measures including monitoring, defence, and proper handling of cybersecurity risks and threats from both home and overseas will be carried out to ensure that relevant facilities are protected from attacks, intrusions, interference and sabotage. The regulation came as the country’s major IT infrastructure faces severe security challenges including frequent cyberattacks.

An academician with the Chinese Academy of Engineering believes that the latest moves highlight strengthened governance in cyberspace. He, however, stressed that regulation does not mean discarding the development. It is about attaching equal importance to both sides. Strengthened governance will provide a healthier environment for the development of the internet sector, calling for greater emphasis on national security and protection of users’ rights in the process.

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