China investigating foreign companies over security

2013-08-20 13:22:33 GMT2013-08-20 21:22:33(Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

BEIJING, Aug. 20 (Xinhua) -- China's probes into renowned foreign companies has aroused heated discussion online, with netizens supporting the country's steps because of security concerns.

The Wall Street Journal reported last Friday that China is preparing to investigate American corporations IBM, Oracle and EMC over security issues. It questioned the probes, saying they were in retaliation to the rejection of China's telecom giant Huawei by the world's largest economy.

In recent years, Huawei has been repeatedly rejected for selling its devices to American firms due to security concerns raised by the U.S. government.

However, the reason for China to launch the investigations was the country's threatened security problems exposed by Edward Snowden, former U.S. spy agency contractor.

The whistleblower revealed that at least nine U.S. firms have participated in the U.S. surveillance program called PRISM, which hacked deep into China's computer networks.

China became a focus for the Snowden case since he stopped in Hong Kong en route to Moscow. He also claimed that the U.S. National Security Agency hacked into critical network infrastructures at universities in China.

On Sina Weibo, China's most popular Twitter-like microblogging site, most netizens applauded the country's step to investigate foreign companies in China for security reasons.

"Kang Zhao" with Sina Tech said the probes should have been started long ago for the equipment manufactured by foreign companies poses huge risk for potential security problems.

However, "qimozhai" and other microbloggers are worried the as the probes will impact the foreign companies, the revenue of Chinese firms using their products will shrink.

The Global Times published a commentary in its paper and official microblog on Monday, saying that compared with the United States, China has done much fewer and much "gentler" investigations for security reasons.

The paper said that international companies have become an important part of the Chinese economy as the country adheres to its reform and opening-up policy.

It is normal and reasonable for China to conduct security probes, the commentary said.

The campaign is not targeted at foreign companies, but aimed at creating a fairer and better environment for economic competition, according to the paper.

The commentary added that it is also groundless to claim that China's investment environment will worsen because of the probes.

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