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China Sweetens Its Cloud-Computing Offer in U.S. Trade Talks

Apr 12 , 2019

China sweetened an offer to open its cloud-computing sector to foreign companies, in a bid to forge a trade deal after U.S. negotiators rejected an earlier proposal as inadequate, said people briefed about the negotiations.

In last week’s face-to-face talks in Washington, Chinese negotiators led by Vice Premier Liu He revised an earlier offer on cloud-computing access, proposing to issue more licenses that businesses need to operate data centers and to lift the 50% equity cap that limits ownership for certain foreign cloud-service providers, the people said. Both sides continue to haggle over the issues this week via videoconference, one of the people said.

The fresh concessions are aimed at reaching a compromise the U.S. negotiating team is pressuring Beijing to make to strike an overall trade deal. Both sides are trying to winnow remaining sticking points; Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Wednesday that the two sides have agreed to set up enforcement offices to monitor compliance with an eventual deal, suggesting progress on one stumbling block.

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