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Information Security System to Be Built

A national information security system will be built in five years and the central government will reduce the requirements for market access to information security products, officials have revealed.

A new regulation on information security products manufactured both domestically and overseas will come out in the near future, further widening market access for software developers, the Ministry of Public Security, China's top information security authority, said Monday.

Gu Jianguo, vice director of the ministry's Public Information Network Security Inspection Bureau, said that since information security products are crucial to the protection of a country's security, the central government has to supervise and test their quality.

At present, any software that includes information security as a function must undergo testing by the ministry before the company may sell its product.

Under the new regulation, only products primarily used for information security protection, such as anti-virus software, would need approval of the ministry and sale permits.

Market analysts believe the change is the direct result of the fast-growing market need for information protection.

Some insiders say the market potential for such products will surpass 10 billion yuan (US$1.2 billion) by the end of this year.

Yan Ming, director of the Third Research Institute of the Ministry of Public Security, said that during the five-year period from 1999 through 2003, the number of the products tested and approved by the ministry grew by an average 100 percent per year.

Shanghai, China's economic hub, is playing an important role in developing information security protection systems for the country. Two pilot projects for the national protection system have reportedly already been completed there.

A related exhibition and executive forum will open on November 24 at the Shanghai International Convention Center. A number of leading-edge companies such as Microsoft China, Internet Security Systems and Symantec are expected to participate.

(China Daily April 6, 2004)


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