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Trust rating for cloud firms on cards

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Core Tip:Security nod must for participation in govt projects, says expert


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Security nod must for participation in govt projectssays expert

China will soon start rating the trustworthiness of cloud computing service providersespeciallyfor government procurement contractsa move that could potentially shut the doors to foreigncompaniesa leading expert involved in drafting the policy told China Daily on Friday.

Only companies that get full security clearance from the government will be allowed to join SmartCity and various other government-funded projectssaid Zuo Xiaodongvice-president of theChina Information Security Research Institutean industry think-tank.

"The basic idea of the security rating mechanism is to find trustworthy hardwaresoftware andservice providers to ensure that the government has total control of the entire ecosystem," Zuosaid.

He said the country is building a cloud security assessmentauthorization and monitoring systemsimilar to the Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program adopted by the UnitedStates two years ago.

Zuo is one of the key officials involved in drafting one of the two fundamental national standardsdesigned to avoid security loopholes in for-government-use cloud productsThe standards will beimplemented from April.

The new policyhoweverposes a threat to the market share of overseas companies in thesector although they will be allowed to take the assessmentChina may ask cloud providers tohand over key operating data and source codes for security reasonsbut no overseas companyhas publicly agreed to disclose such information to the government.

Increasing IT safety concerns are pushing China to hire more local cloud technologiesA numberof projects even abandoned overseas providers for made-in-China products.

Earlier this yearBeijing-based virtualization company Sugon Information Industry Co Ltdreplaced VMware Inca US firmin a high-profile cloud project in WuxiJiangsu province.

SugonAlibaba Group Holding Ltd and Huawei Technologies Co Ltd are among the most activesupporters of replacing overseas cloud products.

Wang Zhengfuchief operating officer of Sugonsaid years of heavy investment in research anddevelopment have made local firms more competitive in the marketHe said the company seesthe government's security requirement a golden opportunity to take on foreign players.

Industry sources said China may want overseas IT providers - including cloud companies - out ofthe government procurement market by 2020. According to Zuothough the government has nofixed timetableit is "determinedto use safer IT products.

Turnover of the Chinese public cloud market is expected to exceed 6.2 billion yuan ($1 billion)this yeara 30 percent growth over the corresponding period in 2013, according to figures fromthe China Academy of Telecommunication Research under the Ministry of Industry andInformation Technology.

The academy expects the government to be the major buyer of cloud products in China.

Zhou Mindeputy director of the State Information Centersaid local providers are capable ofmeeting most of the technological demands in the cloud-based public service sectorAs thecountry demands a bigger say in the entire ecosystemlocal companies are ready to take abigger sharehe said.


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