Chinese cyber insurance rules to be redrafted

By Madhvi Mavadiya | 9 November 2015

In a similar way to which bank technology regulations were disputed earlier this year, talks are taking place in relation to  Chinese cyber security restrictions for the insurance industry.

According to Reuters, foreign business lobbies have requested China to revise the regulations in place and the drafted changes were announced by the China Insurance Regulatory Commission (CIRC). The changes detail how insurance holding companies and asset managers should prioritise the purchase of secure and controllable products, which includes domestic encryption technology.

The American Chamber of Commerce and around 20 other foreign business lobbies said that the provisions that were put in place would go against global information security standards. This information was outlined in a letter to the CIRC by some of the organisations.

The letter described how they urged the CIRC to avoid risks that would rely on localised solutions, prescriptive technologies and restrictions on data flows. “By excluding foreign technology that may be the most secure, this approach is likely to result in less secure digitalised operations,” the letter said.

Reuters also reported that these additions to the insurance security standards would revive tension between Washington and Beijing.

The US government criticised draft cyber banking regulations that expected foreign companies to surrender source code and encryption algorithms to Chinese authorities, but implementation was suspended by Obama administration.

After news of China stopping plans to regulate cyber security earlier this year, the country decided to resume plans and ask Western technology companies for advice on how to handle the new rules in August.

At the same time, China progressed cyber security measures in fear of being spied on by US officals. This was seen to be sensible by those in government due to cases of Chinese manufacturers being banned from the US, like Huawei and ZTE.

Chinese regulations have always been criticised by Europe and the US and foreign products are excluded. This is in violation of rules that China is encouraged to comply with as a member of the World Trade Organisation.

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