China refuses to concede on US demands to ease curbs on tech firms

The FT report said Beijing had yet to offer “meaningful concessions” to US requests

Reuters March 25, 2019
Chinese staffers adjust US and Chinese flags before the opening session of trade negotiations between US and Chinese trade representatives at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse in Beijing, Thursday, February 14, 2019. PHOTO: REUTERS

Ahead of fresh high-level trade talks this week, China is not conceding to the US demands to ease curbs on technology companies, the Financial Times reported on Sunday, citing three people briefed on the discussions.

US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin are scheduled to travel to Beijing for talks starting on March 28, the White House said on Saturday.

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The FT report said Beijing had yet to offer “meaningful concessions” to US requests for China to stop discriminating against foreign cloud computing providers, to reduce limits on overseas data transfers and to relax a requirement for companies to store data locally.

China made an initial offer on digital trade that the United States judged as insufficient, the report said, citing a source.

China then retracted the offer after the United States demanded stronger pledges, the report said, without giving further details.

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The White House and China’s Commerce Ministry did not respond to requests from Reuters for comment on Sunday.

US President Donald Trump said on Friday that the talks aimed at resolving the trade dispute were progressing and a final agreement seemed probable.

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