Fears over software sanctions bolster calls for a continental solution


The SAR administration can try to use software developed on the mainland in case it is banned from using software made abroad due to sanctions, a member of the Legislative Council suggested.

In response to the suggestion by Michael Luk Chung-hung of the Federation of Trade Unions, Innovation and Technology Secretary Alfred Sit Wing-hang said he had access to all the software for now but that contingency plans had been drawn up.

Mainland brands like Lenovo and Huawei are among the administration’s IT procurement options.

Another member, Johnny Ng Kit-chong of the electoral committee constituency, feared possible sanctions and cyberattacks, but Sit said a comprehensive set of IT security policies and guidelines had been drawn up.

He said authorities launched a private platform in late 2020 that has so far supported more than 350 digital services, incorporating multiple layers of security measures including encryption, firewalls, detection of intrusions, anti-malware software, real-time monitoring and spam filtering.

A public consultation on the cybersecurity obligations of “critical infrastructure operators” will be launched by the end of this year, as Hong Kong lacks such legislation amid growing cyberattacks.

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