The European Union Chamber of Commerce in China urged Beijing to reconsider implementing a controversial Internet filter, saying on Monday it raised serious concerns about security, privacy and user choice.
The EU Chamber said it supported measures to protect children from potentially harmful content on the Internet, but this goal could be better achieved through a healthy and open dialogue on parental controls.
Beijing is demanding that all personal computers be pre-installed by July 1 with Green Dam software that filters out objectionable material like pornography, which U.S. officials have said could be used for broader censorship.
The filter poses significant questions in relation to security, privacy, system reliability, the free flow of information and user choice, said the Chamber in a statement.
Countries at the World Trade Organization complained last week about the proposed rules, which the United States deemed draconian and the European Union urged to be scrapped.
The complaints, if unresolved, could eventually escalate into formal disputes. When trade rules are breached, the WTO's court permits governments to impose hefty retaliatory sanctions.
Japan also voiced concern about the measure, which China's WTO delegate said was aimed at protecting minors from online pornography and was requested by parents and teachers.
(Reporting by Kirby Chien; Editing by David Holmes)