In what could be the best instance of China becoming self dependant and cutting use of foreign technology, Chinese media has reported that Beijing has boycotted the services of Russia’s Kaspersky Lab and US-based Symantec from its anti-virus software vendors list.
The development comes a week after China updated its public website listing technology vendors. The list features the name all the trusted vendors with whom Beijing keeps business transactions by allowing their products in its domestic market.
The news was reported by the state-controlled People’s Daily on its English Twitter feed on Sunday.
The media report said that the procurement agency of the Chinese government excluded the two leading anti-virus software suppliers, Symantec & Kaspersky, from its list of security software suppliers.
Another tweet by People’s Daily said that the government agency had approved five Chinese anti-virus software brands, namely- Beijing Jiangmin, CAJinchen, Qihoo 360 Technology Co, Rising and Venustech.
The move is being seen as Beijing’s’ efforts to expand its technological presence and limit the foreign presence in its tech market.
When asked about the development, Kaspersky spokesman Alejandro Arango said, “We are currently investigating the matter and are in touch with the Chinese authorities. It is too premature to go into any additional details at this time.”
Meanwhile, no Symantec officials were available for comment.
Last month, China had banned one of the Symantec products i.e. data loss prevention software. On the development, Symantec had said that it was in talks with the Chinese authorities over the matter. At that point of time, a Symantec spokesperson has clearly hinted that there was no threat on the company’s flagship anti-virus software programs from China.
The Snowden role
The market experts see the move as China’s attempt to keep foreign surveillance programs outside the country’s soil by promoting use of domestic IT products.
Series of leaks by former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden had bittered the relations between US and China. Other US tech giants including Microsoft, IBM and Cisco Systems also encountered challenges in China after Snowden episode came into light last year.
The indictment of Chinese soldiers by Washington on cyber espionage charges further rose the tensions between both the countries.