By the AmCham China ICT Forum

Rapid advances in technology and product innovation present new and evolving policy challenges that can be addressed only by close coordination between industry and regulators. Within the information communication technology (ICT) industry, key areas of concern include restricted Internet access, data flows, cybersecurity and policy localization. China’s policy framework is still under development and the future of the ICT industry in China remains uncertain.

AmCham China’s ICT Forum has been very active in relevant policy issues lately. Debriefings and panel discussions help AmCham China members stay ahead of the trends.

China policy often elevates network and information security to the highest priority. One example is the implementation of “secure and controllable” policies that emphasize use and development of “indigenous technology.” Striking the correct balance between security and an open, dynamic Internet that drives innovation and economic growth is not an easy task.

On June 9, the ICT Forum brought together a uniquely qualified panel of policy and industry experts to discuss the emerging trends of China’s “secure and controllable” policies, and their potential impact on businesses in China and around the world. The speakers came from a cross-section of government, private sector and legal professionals, including He Jing (AnJie Law Firm), John Zhao (Symantec), David Sung (VMware), Hugo Zhang (RELX Group) and Jonathan Kallmer (Information Technology Industry Council).

Symantec, a member of the forum, recently released its Internet Security Threat Report, which reveals that in 2014, one in every four banks, three manufacturers and two energy companies were victims of cyber attacks. Customer identity loss is the largest data risk in the cyber attacks. In 2014, data breaches increased by 23 percent, with retail and finance sectors experiencing the most severe customer identity theft.

To address this fast-changing issue, on June 3, the ICT Forum and the US Information Technology Office held an executive briefing on cybersecurity trends and best practices for foreign multinational corporations (MNCs), a top-of-mind issue for executives in China. Victor Law, Regional Director on Enterprise Security of Symantec China, shared cybersecurity trends in 2015, risk management and best corporate security practices to adapt to the fast-changing landscape globally and in China.

This month, on Oct. 15, the ICT Forum will hold a panel discussion with government officials and leading industry experts covering business opportunities and strategies in relation to China’s Industry 4.0 and Internet Plus. The speakers will provide a debriefing of the Chinese government’s stance on these matters and discuss the potential impact on foreign MNCs.

The best way to resolve issues facing the ICT Forum is for the companies to work closely with the Chinese government and voice their opinions. In addition, partnering with leading domestic companies is of great significance. To make difference for members’ companies and stakeholders, ICT MNCs must work together as a group.

Contact Sophie Ren to learn more about the ICT Forum.