The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) in China has issued a draft plan to develop the country’s cyber security industry for the next three years.

The document envisages more secure networks and upgrading of infrastructure in critical sectors, such as energy, finance, transport, health and education, to protect national security interests.

Proposals include companies being required to improve their awareness of cyber security and safeguard their network security. In telecommunications, companies are expected to allocate 10% of their IT investment into cybersecurity.

The document highlights the automotive industry as more vehicle makers are developing and using technologies such as over-the-air updates and automatic driving.

The plan acknowledges cyber security is big business. MIIT estimates the sector could grow at least 15% annually to be worth more than CNY250bn ($38.5bn, €32.5 bn) by 2023 and act as a base for China to become an industrial and cyber power.

Some observers view the plan as part of Beijing’s efforts to better govern the internet and data management as use of new technologies such as 5G, cloud computing and artificial intelligence (AI) become more common place.

The Cyberspace Administration of China has issued draft rules calling for all data-rich tech companies with more than 1m users to undergo security reviews before listing overseas.

There are also investigations underway into Chinese ride-hailing company Didi Chuxing for allegedly violating data privacy laws and truck-hailing companies, Yunmanman and Huochebang on national security grounds.


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