China is demanding that some U.S. technology firms to directly pledge their commitment to contentious policies that could require them to turn user data and intellectual property over to the government.
Beijing has written to some US firms earlier this summer asking them to promise they would not harm China’s national security and would store Chinese user data within the country. It is not certain who China sent the note to.
The letter also asked the companies that their products be “secure and controllable” which means they need to build back doors that would allow Chinese spooks to enter at will.
The Cyberspace Administration of China denied that the government had sent the pledge documents to US firms, but said a document had been sent by a government body overseeing information security certification.
“As we understand, the so-called pledge documents were sent by the China Information Security Certification Center to foreign firms and were letters soliciting suggestions,” the cyberspace body said in emailed comments to Reuters, adding this was done according to Chinese law and international practice.