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Country calls for creation of Asian Net hub

China called for the building of an information hub for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations to boost economic development in cyberspace and help safeguard security in the region.

It is the right time for China and the ASEAN countries to engage in Internet cooperation, improving information-sharing and accelerating network interconnection, said Lu Wei, director of the Cyberspace Administration of China, at a cyberspace forum on Sept 18.

Lu said China would like to cooperate with the ASEAN countries in Internet infrastructure, including optical cables, public Wi-Fi and upgraded Web resource allocation.

The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank is now being set up, and China is willing to take on the establishment of cyberfacilities as a major investment, helping people in rural areas connect with the Internet and the world, Lu said at the China-ASEAN Cyberspace Forum, in Nanning, capital of Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region.

“Information transmission is the nature of the Internet, which is precious for trade and policies,” he said. “We’d like to share information with the ASEAN partners, including finance, customs data, disaster prevention and evaluation.”

“We’ll conduct e-commerce cooperation with the other countries in the region, where there are about 200 million netizens, making exit-entry, logistics and tourism more convenient,” Lu said. “We’re also going to push regional economic developments via big-data analysis.”

But he added that each country should respect its partners’ cybersovereignty and comply with the Internet order when it participates in a cooperative information hub.

At the forum, Qihoo 360, China’s largest online security service enterprise, announced it will enter the Southeast Asia market, signing an agreement with Asiasoft, the leading Internet online service provider built in Thailand in 2001.

The two Internet giants will provide free online security programs and security-risk solutions for regional computer users under the agreement.

Qihoo 360 President Qi Xiangdong said he hopes the cooperation will help promote the building of an information hub.

The hub should be an advanced area where investors and potential cooperators can see what projects are being developed and to secure financing, Qi said.

For example, as a company is ready to enter into the Indonesia market, it can find language services, product designers and promoters in the hub, “which will be more effective as a regional cooperation”, he said.

Qin Xiongning, a forum participant from China Telecom’s Guangxi brand, said the hub should also eliminate some blockages in cyberspace, such as language and e-payment hang-ups.