The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) of China said in a press conference Tuesday that it approved of foreign tech firms conducting cloud-computing business in China via cooperation with local firms.

“Under the premise of obeying Chinese laws and policies, foreign companies are welcomed to participate in the cloud computing market and help to boost the market,” Wen Ku, head of the MIIT information and communication department, said in the press conference.

The MIIT statement follows Premier Li Keqiang’s proposal to allow trial operations for foreign cloud-service providers.

In the meeting with 36 heads of foreign corporations earlier this month, Li said China is considering a “liberalization pilot” in a free trade zone to open cloud computing to foreign companies.

Foreign cloud service providers would be allowed to build their own data centers in the free trade zone, according to the proposal.

China’s current rules on data storage and cybersecurity forbid foreign firms to provide cloud-computing services in China directly.

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