China’s list of approved technology products for its State purchases drops western leading technology brands like Apple, Intel etc. however the most affected brand is Cisco Systems.
Recent news published by Reuters analysis shows a drastic change in China’s list of approved technology products. The State purchases can buy only those products which are approved by China and it has been observed that China has been consistently removing some of the leading western brands from its approved list since 2012. Over a period of 2 years, some of the leading western technology brands have been dumped by China and instead opened up their list for the local firms. The approved list now has more of local entrepreneur products and home made stuff rather than the foreign well know brands and this is more so in the field of technology. The number of local brands has increased from former 2000 to now 5000.
However, the most affected one is Cisco Systems, which is leading U.S. brand known for manufacturing of network equipment. In 2012 Cisco systems had 60 products on the Central Government Procurement Center’s (CGPC) list and now there is not a single product on the approved list! The well known brands which joined hands with Cisco were Apple, Intel, Citrix, security software firm McAfee and hence even they had to face the blow and have been dropped from the approved list. It has been noticed that local Government bodies, military and state owned companies have their own separate procurement lists and are not bound by this approved list.
As per the reports published it seems China is concerned over the global cyber-surveillance conducted by the West, main concern was the Edward Snowden issue. Certain news regarding the U.S. National Security Agency’s mass surveillance programs was leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden around mid 2013. It seemed that the U.S. NSA was hacking on the different security technology firms and it was a joint consent from China’s leadership to drop these western technology brands from their approved list and in a way the domestic security technology firms would definitely prove to be more secure than the western rivalry firms.
“The Snowden incident, it’s become a real concern, especially for top leaders. In some sense the American government has some responsibility for that; (China’s) concerns have some legitimacy”, said Tu Xinquan, Associate Director of the China Institute of WTO Studies at the University of International Business and Economics in Beijing.
Though Snowden issue is being seen as one major reason for this drop of the leading brands, some officials from the procurement also feel that China might want to strengthen its local technology sector and hence it has dropped some of the leading technology brands to cut off the competition.
There is a mass protest from these U.S firms and as per a spokesman from the US State Department China’s regulatory actions which claims to aid in cyber security is neither effective nor is it logical with the aspect of free and open trade. Last month the U.S. technology discovered some loopholes in the new cyber security regulations and some of these regulation companies were selling the secret codes for using the China’s encrypted algorithms.
Well China seems to be adamant on becoming independent country as far as security technology is concerned so as to cut off interference from West in its security advances.