China’s president Xi Jinping and its propaganda chief Liu Yunshan spoke at the World Internet Conference in Jiaxing, Zhejiang province today and said that China wants to “promote equitable global Internet governance” but not at the expense of “cyber sovereignty” for other countries. Their comments (Xi’s was via video remarks piped in) come as several Hollywood entertainment companies are doing deals with Chinese Internet giants like Alibaba and Tencent.
The remarks also come on the heels of a new law in China that critics say could shut out foreign business so much so that more than 40 organizations worldwide have spoken against it. According to Reuters, the new law “introduces sweeping surveillance measures and local data storage requirements.”
Several entertainment companies — such as Amblin Partners(Alibaba) and STX Entertainment (Tencent) — have entered into business with Chinese Internet companies. While China says it wants to cooperate “in a more balanced way,” the country is run by a one-party Communist government that has led efforts to censor information coming through to its country and to its people. It has been doing so for years, evidenced also by the fact they have a propaganda chief who is commenting about flow of information on the Internet.
The comments also come as the China-U.S. relationship is under the microscope and also uncertain, given that the U.S. President-elect Donald Trump has had harsh words for China during his campaign and China has lashed back at Trump’s proclamations about imposing a 45% tariff on the country.