China Specifically Targeting US Gadgets In Security Scrutiny?

By Melvin Alfred Wong , May 18, 2016 05:50 AM EDT

New developments in China's increased security measures seem to involve putting special focus on American gadgets including those made by Apple. China explains that the move was to assess the threat levels that such devices could pose to the country. As a result, tensions between the U.S. and China increased even more.

According to an article in The New York Times, the targeted features in the devices that are up for review include encryption technology as well as the data storage aspects. During the review, representatives of Apple, as well as other foreign companies whose devices are under scrutiny, are required to answer questions about the devices. These representatives can even be executives of said companies and will need to answer the questions in person.

The reviews are supposedly conducted by a Chinese government branch that deals with cyber security and military threat assessment. China has not been forthright about the details involved in the reviews.

As for the potential effects, the reviews could have on the companies selling the products under review, concerns include potentially being pressured to reveal more about the products than the companies intend; including trade secrets. Understandably, this has put Apple and other foreign companies on edge. Bruce Sewell, the general counsel who represents Apple, has even revealed that China wanted access to the tech giant's source code; a request which Apple rejected.

The US and other countries do conduct their own reviews of foreign products that enter or pass through their territories. However, the reviews mostly focus on products that have potential or specific military applications.

Civilian products are hardly ever subjected to the same level of scrutiny that China is placing on Apple and another foreign gadget. Finally, there is also the fear that if Apple were to give in to the demands of China, other countries might follow suit.

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