The United States and China are in talks to agree a deal which will prevent them from conducting cyber attacks on each other's critical infrastructure during peacetime.
The deal would protect power stations, banking systems, mobile networks and hospitals from crippling cyber attacks, however, it wouldn't extend to US government and commercial targets.
The United States wants China to embrace the principles outlined in a code of conduct adopted by a working group at the United Nations. One of these is to refrain from cyber attacks "that intentionally damages critical infrastructure or otherwise impairs the use and operation of critical infrastructure to provide services to the public".
The talks have ramped up ahead of a meeting between Chinese President XI Jinping and US President Barack Obama in Washington next week, according to the New York Times.
Obama recently called for an international framework to prevent the internet from being "weaponised". He envisions something similar to existing global nuclear agreements, but warned that this could take years of "tough negotiations".