IT se­cu­rity plan ‘to safe­guard State se­crets’

China Daily (Canada) - - FRONT PAGE -

on strength­en­ing the safety of soft­ware in the fi­nan­cial sec­tor and for ap­pli­ca­tions used by gov­ern­ment de­part­ments and State-owned en­ter­prises this year, said Chen Wei, direc­tor of the soft­ware bureau at the min­istry.

Chen did not dis­close de­tails of the pro­posed guide­lines, which will em­pha­size do­mes­tic devel­op­ment and the au­thor­i­ties’ con­trol of key tech­nolo­gies. The guide­lines will be part of an ar­ray of na­tional in­for­ma­tion tech­nol­ogy strate­gies for the 13th Five-Year Plan (2016-20).

“We are ex­pect­ing to see break­throughs in ad­vanced do­mes­tic soft­ware devel­op­ment within the next five years,” Chen said, adding that the pro­por­tion ofChi­nese soft­ware ac­quired by way of gov­ern­ment pro­cure­ment has seen steady growth.

Char­lie Dai, prin­ci­pal an­a­lyst at For­rester Re­search Inc, said that more spe­cific re­quire­ments are likely to be an­nounced for mo­bile, big data and cloud com­put­ing.

The guide­lines may con­sti­tute a new hur­dle for over­seas ven­dors, be­cause gov­ern­ment­backed projects tend to buy do­mes­tic soft­ware due to se­cu­rity con­cerns.

WPSOf­fice (of­fered by King­soft Of­fice Soft­ware Corp Ltd) and other made-in-China of­fice suite soft­ware prod­ucts, which chal­lenge Mi­crosoft Corp’s Of­fice se­ries, ac­counted for about two-thirds of the gov­ern­ment pro­cure­ment sec­tor as of the end of last year, ac­cord­ing to the MIIT.

Chen said the coun­try aims to lift its abil­ity to de­velop ba­sic soft­ware such as op­er­at­ing sys­tems and code used for data­bases.

Do­mes­ti­cally de­vel­oped pro­grams have less than 30 per­cent of the mar­ket for ba­sic soft­ware, but the fig­ure rises to 70 to 80 per­cent in ap­pli­ca­tion soft­ware, ac­cord­ing to Chen.

The world’s top soft­ware providers, in­clud­ing Mi­crosoft and Or­a­cle Corp, have faced dif­fi­cul­ties in get­ting or­ders from gov­ern­ment bod­ies in China since whistle­blower Ed­ward Snow­den dis­closed the United States Na­tional Se­cu­rity Agency’s mass sur­veil­lance pro­grams in 2013.

A long

list

of

over­seas

IT hard­ware and soft­ware prod­ucts have since been re­moved from the Chi­nese gov­ern­ment pro­cure­ment list.

“Over­seas com­pa­nies should deepen their col­lab­o­ra­tion with ex­ist­ing part­ners and con­sider more team-ups in man­u­fac­tur­ing, joint ven­tures and patent trans­fers with them,” said Dai.

For­eign play­ers should fo­cus more on open­ness, lo­cal stan­dard com­pli­ance and the value ecosys­tem when do­ing busi­ness in China, he said.

China is one of the largest soft­ware pro­duc­ers in the world.

The in­dus­try’s an­nual rev­enue could ex­ceed 10 tril­lion yuan ($1.61 tril­lion) by about 2020, said Chen. In­dus­try rev­enue hit 3.7 tril­lion yuan last year, a 20 per­cent jump from 2013, the MIIT said. Rev­enue for the first four months of this year reached 1.2 tril­lion yuan, a 16.7 per­cent year-onyear in­crease.

Fan Xin, pres­i­dent of Bei­jing­hard­ware and soft­ware maker Tong­fang Co Ltd, said that the com­pany is work­ing with lo­cal part­ners to tap the mar­ket.

“In­for­ma­tion se­cu­rity is be­com­ing a fun­da­men­tal re­quire­ment for Chi­nese cus­tomers,” Fan said.

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