Beijing Bars Intel, AMD and Microsoft Windows from Government Computers

In the world of technology, there’s a growing rivalry between China and the U.S. China worries about relying too much on technology from other countries, especially the U.S. This reliance gives the U.S. leverage over China. To address this concern, China has started a long-term plan to remove non-Chinese tech from its government systems.

Recent reports on Financial Times say that Chinese government departments are being told to stop using some popular U.S. technologies like Microsoft Windows and Intel chips. This shows China’s determination to rely more on its own technology and reduce dependence on foreign ones.

According to guidelines released on Dec. 26 by China’s finance ministry and ministry of industry and information technology, government offices must switch from computers and servers using chips made by foreign companies. They should instead use processors that are considered “safe and reliable,” as outlined in the guidelines.

China’s state testing agency has created a list of approved processors, but it only includes Chinese companies like Huawei’s subsidiary, HiSilicon, and Phytium, which is backed by the Chinese government. This means big foreign players like Intel and AMD are left out. China wants to boost its own tech industry and reduce dependence on foreign tech.

China also wants to stop using Microsoft Windows in government offices and switch to locally-made operating systems. This move supports China’s goal of developing its own technologies that align with its national interests.

Foreign chip companies wanting to be considered “safe and reliable” by China’s regulators must meet strict requirements. They need to share detailed research and development documents and even disclose their secret code. This shows China’s determination to protect its technology and ensure the security of its important systems.

This change in policy by China affects major international companies like Intel, AMD, and Microsoft. Losing out on government contracts in China could mean significant financial losses for them. For example, Intel earned more than a quarter of its total sales from China in 2023. This shows how important the Chinese market is for these companies.

China’s push for tech self-sufficiency is driven by both global politics and domestic needs. The growing rivalry with the U.S., combined with past sanctions on Chinese companies like Huawei, has made China realize its vulnerability to external pressures. This has prompted China to focus on building its own technology capabilities.

China’s efforts to reduce reliance on foreign technology signal a shift towards greater independence. By investing in its own technology, China aims to protect itself from outside influences. However, this move also has broader implications for global politics and the future of technology.

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In summary, China’s move towards tech self-reliance is reshaping the global tech landscape. By prioritizing its own technology, China aims to assert its independence and protect its interests in an increasingly competitive world.

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