China, U.S. Negotiates Opening Cloud Market

Alibaba Cloud
Alibaba Cloud ads shown along the Causeway Bay Hennessy Road tram station (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

China-United States trade negotiations revealed on Wednesday that China is open to easing its policies that govern access to its cloud computing market.

Sources said that Chinese negotiators held a meeting with their representatives from the leading cloud services in the United States including Microsoft and Amazon.

Sources said that China considers allowing American companies to enter the market.

The companies, however, need to form joint ventures with a Chinese firm to operate in the country. The Chinese government's restriction scared many investors from operating in China in fear of being forced to and over their technologies.

In 2017, China implemented its cyber-security laws which strengthened the government's control over the collection and movement of Chinese user's data. It is also being criticized because it gives the authorities more access to foreign companies' technology.

After it was imposed, foreign cloud companies need to license their technology to their local partners as a requirement of their operation in the country. They also claim that they are forced to store some information within the country.

In recent weeks, the developments in the trade negotiations between the two nations increased optimism that the two nations agree on a trade deal that will end the trade friction.

The negotiators from both sides said that progress is being made in the negotiations. The United States President Donald Trump said that a deal is to be expected before the month ends. Critics of the administration, however, question the timing of the deal.

United States Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Wednesday during an interview with the CNBC that the two sides had made progress on how to enforce terms of a deal. He said that they' ve pretty much agreed on an enforcement mechanism, we've agreed that both sides will establish enforcement offices that will deal with the ongoing matters.

Larry Kudlow, the top economic adviser of the Trump administration, said that the two sides are close to a trade deal. He added that officials discussed the remaining differences on the phone after the recent high-level meetings in Beijing and Washington. Xinhua, a Chinese state-run news network, said that the text of an agreement being worked on covers technology transfers, intellectual property protections, non-tariff measures, services, agriculture, trade balance, and enforcement.

The report of the Wall Street Journal also said that Premier Li Keqiang assured that they are open to the idea that foreign firms will be allowed to own data centers in China's free-trade zones and give them better access to the cloud-computing market.

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