China’s long game in techno-nationalism
The passage of China’s national cybersecurity law in June 2017 has been interpreted as an unprecedented impediment to the operation of foreign firms in the country, with its new requirements for data localization, network operators’ cooperation with law enforcement officials, and online content restrictions, among others. Although the law’s scope is indeed broader than that of any previous regulation, the process through which it was drafted and eventually approved bears similarities to three previous cases from the past two decades of Chinese information technology policy-making. In comparing these four cases, we argue that economic concerns have consistently overshadowed claims of national security considerations throughout laws directed at foreign enterprises.
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