The Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) has signaled that it wants to smooth growing tensions with internet companies after several years of heavily asserting its powers.

The shiny new friendly CAC was announced at a press conference billed as discussing China’s achievements in the digital age last Friday. Niu Yibing, vice minister of the CAC, said that thanks to Chinese President Xi Jingping’s steady leadership, China is making great strides in maintaining net power while “in line with the development trend of the information revolution.”

The Deputy Minister rattled off a long list of achievements, including creating positive energy in cyberspace, a better digital economy, strengthening network security, and intensifying international cooperation.

Much of the list corresponds to actions the CAC has taken since 2020, such as: B. Efforts to make the Internet “civilized” try to perfect consensual data release, and rules about how and where data resides stored. Often these efforts have been accompanied by fines or irrefutable suggestions that Chinese tech companies should implement other corrective actions. Those who don’t comply with the CAC’s edicts could even face blocked IPOs and other measures — as was the case with Alibaba ant group – or being booted from the app stores and heavily fined, like the renegade ridesharing service DiDi Chuxing.

But the deputy minister then flipped the Q&A, telling the audience the agency supports “the healthy development of internet companies, bigger and stronger” and that the CAC wants to support an entrepreneurial atmosphere.

Beijing recently lifted some restrictions and bans. It finally granted new video game licenses for 45 titles in April, after previously labeled them “spiritual opium” and spent nine months ignoring requests for new games to be approved. It also returned at the end of May ban via offshore technology company exchanges.

In late April, the CAC released statistics to counter the notion that the economic reality for its tech companies is becoming increasingly grim. The statistics say that from July 2021 to mid-March 2021 the payslips accrued elevated in China’s top tech companies of 79,100 people. Mum has had the floor on everything else ever since – but a kinder CAC might be more telling. ® China’s cybersecurity regulator wants to support technology growth • The Register

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