"The development of China's cyberspace is entering a fast lane. China's doors will only become more and more open," Xi Jinping says in a note read at the country's largest public cyber policy forum in the town of Wuzhen.

Xi's comments were read by Huang Kunming, head of the Chinese Communist Party's publicity department.
Xi's comments were read by Huang Kunming, head of the Chinese Communist Party's publicity department. ( Reuters )

Chinese President Xi Jinping said on Sunday the country will not close its door to global internet, but cyber sovereignty is key in its vision of internet development.

Xi's comments were read by Huang Kunming, head of the Chinese Communist Party's publicity department at the country's largest public cyber policy forum in the town of Wuzhen in eastern China.

"The development of China's cyberspace is entering a fast lane...China's doors will only become more and more open," said Xi in the note.

Cyber sovereignty is the idea that states should be permitted to manage and contain their own internet without external interference.

China's Communist Party has tightened cyber regulation in the past year, formalising new rules that require firms to store data locally. The country's censor tools send users scrambling to subvert the Great Firewall.

Cyber regulators say the laws are in line with international rules, and that they are designed to protect personal privacy and counter attacks on core infrastructure. Business groups say the rules unfairly target foreign firms.

China has advocated strongly for a larger role in global internet governance under Xi.

The conference, which is overseen by the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) invited foreign executives, Apple Inc's CEO Tim Cook and Google Inc chief Sundar Pichai as well as a Facebook Inc executive.
The conference, which is overseen by the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) invited foreign executives, Apple Inc's CEO Tim Cook and Google Inc chief Sundar Pichai as well as a Facebook Inc executive. ( Reuters )

Apple says developers earned $17B from China App Store

During a speech at the forum, Apple's chief executive Tim Cook said developers using its platform in China number 1.8 million and have earned a total 112 billion yuan ($16.93 billion), representing roughly a quarter of total global App Store earnings.

Earlier this year, Apple said that developers had earned roughly $70 billion in total revenue through the store.

Apple is facing criticism from local users and rights groups for bowing to pressure from Beijing cyber regulators after it decided to remove hundreds of apps from its Chinese store this year.

Apple counts China as its third-largest region by sales but it has lost market share in recent years as high-end handsets from local rivals continue to gain traction. 

The firm is hoping to regain momentum following the release of its iPhone 8 and iPhone X models which shipped in November.

Source: Reuters