No spying: China bans foreign tech

The Chinese government is reportedly banning the use of all foreign hardware and software from its government offices and public institutions.

According to a report by the Financial Times, Beijing ordered the removal of all foreign software and hardware from government use over the next three years. The move will replace computers and software with products made in China.

The initiative will see the removal happen in three phases over the next three years. Chinese products will substitute 30% of foreign tech in 2020, 50% in 2021 and 20% in 2022. As a result, the policy got the nickname 3-5-2.

The ban will prevent the use of Intel processors. (Photo: Intel)

The removal of foreign tech from Chinese government offices and public institutions may be a difficult task. Many Chinese computers use externally made components. The new ban includes the removal of processor makers Intel, AMD and GPU manufacturers like NVIDIA. The order will no doubt hurt other companies like Microsoft, Apple and Dell.

Affected Chinese entities have a lot to replace during the transition. According to the Financial Times report, an estimated “20m to 30m pieces of hardware will need to be swapped out as a result of the Chinese directive.” News of this bombshell order comes at a time when the US and China relations are strained. About a year ago, the Trump administration put tariffs on certain Chinese goods to encourage Americans to buy local products. The Chinese responded by slapping tariffs on some American products it imports.

The Huawei Mate 30 was released with no Android Apps due to the US ban. (Photo: Huawei)

Earlier this year, the US Government put out an executive order banning all US companies from doing business with several Chinese entities, citing issues of national security. Huawei was later added to the list. The company was hard-hit by the ban as it could no longer use Google’s Android platform on any new devices. Huawei’s networking department also got blacklisted by the US Government for fear that China would use Huawei’s infrastructure to spy on the US. Also, America encouraged many of its allies to follow suit. China is no doubt planning for a future with no American Tech.

China’s government “No foreign tech” order means that the country would rely on its home-brewed software and hardware. The products which may not be as developed as its Western rivals.

The removal of foreign tech may stem from China aiming for technological supremacy and self-reliance rather than depending on outside technologies.