"We are encouraged that there seems to be a delay; what we now need is a transparent, open consultation process with stakeholders and we're hopeful that will be part of the next steps," said U.S. Chamber of Commerce executive director for China Jeremie Waterman.
BSA The Software Alliance, whose members include Adobe Systems, Apple, IBM, Microsoft and Oracle, and the Software and Information Industry Association, which represents financial institutions and tech companies including Google Inc and Thomson Reuters, also found the news encouraging.
SIIA senior director for international public policy Carl Schonander said the delay was a positive development, noting the industry asked for the rules to be suspended.
"We have to see what this means in practice," he said. "We definitely would like to see the draft bank regulations published and we'd like to have the opportunity to provide input to this."
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Lew earlier said the issue needed to be resolved because even having the rules pending created a difficult environment for U.S. firms in China.
"We made clear that suspending them is the right approach," Lew told reporters.
While the policy applied to both domestic and foreign firms, it is seen largely benefiting domestic players.
Another regulation from China restricts the kinds of computers purchased by the Chinese banking industry to ensure that they meet "security and controllability" requirements, seen as a way to make Chinese banks buy "indigenous" software applications.
"We have already made clear our concerns regarding forced technology transfer and other attempts to bar technological competition, most recently in the banking sector, and I look forward to further discussion today," Lew said, in remarks made during a meeting with Vice Premier Wang Yang in Beijing.
The U.S. government has complained of industrial espionage by Chinese firms against its companies, saying it is often backed by government agencies including the Chinese military. Beijing denies the allegations.
Earlier, Lew said the United States looked forward to China deepening its financial reforms, in particular its management of the exchange rate.
"As part of these reforms, it is critical that China continue to move to a more market-determined exchange rate and a more transparent exchange rate policy," he said.
China's move towards a more market-driven exchange rate could help its bid to get the yuan included in the International Monetary Fund's special drawing rights (SDR) basket, the Treasury official said. The official added that Washington will continue to press against any unfair intervention in the China's yuan, particularly if there was upward pressure on the currency.