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International relations

Japan and US break new ground on free digital trade

In contrast with China, companies can host servers anywhere and keep software secrets

TOKYO -- Japanese and American trade negotiators have reached a broad agreement on the digital economy, the Nikkei learned Tuesday, in which digital products are tariff-free and businesses can host servers wherever they choose and not have to expose the workings of their computer programs to governments.

The agreement was reached in working-level discussions, and wording is now being finalized. The breakthrough appears to come in response to Chinese regulations granting the state extensive control over data collected on its soil.

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