China says no to US-led deal to build new ‘super-fast’ internet network
China’s top communications regulator has told the Trump administration that the United States cannot use a “super-slow” internet connection to achieve its goals of building a global broadband network and cutting down on data caps.
The move, which has been interpreted by some as an effort to stoke fears of a Chinese military takeover of the US internet, has raised questions about the future of internet infrastructure in the country, and a potential clash between Beijing and Washington.
The Chinese Communist Party is currently grappling with the fallout from the Great Firewall, a web of restrictive rules designed to block access to sensitive content.
It has also seen its internet traffic shrink by more than a third since Trump took office in January.
China is a major internet market for the US, which imports about half of its internet and mobile data.
But China’s internet service providers have complained that the US is blocking access to content and slowing down their services.
It is not clear what China’s reasons are for rejecting the proposal.
It is not yet clear what the White House is looking for in a new deal, but a White House official said it is not for the Chinese to decide.
China, which last month launched a national broadband plan to tackle data caps, is keen to see the US follow the lead of Germany, the European Union and others that have promised to build a global internet backbone.
China wants to establish a high-speed, high-capacity network with 100 per cent of the world’s capacity by 2020.
The new plan, which the White Senate is expected to release next week, includes an emphasis on high-bandwidth internet.
Chinese President Xi Jinping last month promised to expand the country’s internet speed to 60 per cent, or 10 times faster than in the US.
The US internet service provider Ajit Pai, chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, has previously said that the government would use a new, super-fast internet link for domestic business.
Ajit Pai has said the internet would be built at 100 per, or 30,000 times the speed of today’s internet.
He said that US infrastructure needed to be upgraded to “level two” or “level three” status, meaning the internet could be built “at a pace of around 100,000 a second”.
The Trump administration has not yet responded to a request for comment.
China’s internet traffic has fallen by almost half in the last three years, to 1.3 billion per day, according to data from telecom giant Huawei.
It also reported last month that internet users spent 3.7 billion minutes on the internet in the year to June.
It said it would cut internet access charges by $1.5 billion in the first year of the new plan.
The plan, if fully implemented, would see China invest $30 billion in infrastructure to meet US needs.
But in an interview with The Wall Street Journal published last month, the Chinese Communications Ministry said it was worried about the US proposal.
“We do not want to see this super-slow internet plan being implemented in the near future,” the ministry said in an emailed statement.
“The Chinese government is firmly opposed to the US plans for a super- slow internet plan.”
China has also pushed for the country to develop its own “digital gold” in which internet users could pay for more speed and faster speeds, and invest in technology to provide faster speeds.