China Removes Cisco, Others from List of Approved Government Service Providers

Removing companies like Cisco and Apple from the list latest move in government's effort to reduce U.S. firms' reach in China

Chris Burt

February 26, 2015

2 Min Read
China Removes Cisco, Others from List of Approved Government Service Providers
Cisco UCS gear installed in a data center (Photo: Cisco)



This article originally appeared at The WHIR

China has removed several large US IT companies including Cisco and Apple from a list of approved government product and service providers, Reuters reported Thursday. The move, while disruptive for the companies involved, is just the latest in a series of steps taken by the Chinese government reducing the reach of US IT companies in China.

An analysis by Reuters of a list provided to state agencies by China’s Central Government Procurement Center (CGPC) showed that Cisco had 60 products approved for government use, but all had been removed by late 2014. Products from Apple, Citrix, and McAffee were also removed from the list, which swelled over the same time from under 3,000 to almost 5,000.

The CGPC banned foreign ownedcybersecurity companies Symantec and Kaspersky from government use in August.

Why the companies were removed is a question receiving speculation, with theWashington Post noting that since the US NSA’s PRISM program was leaked, a rift has been growing and China has begun touting its need for “cyber-sovereignty.” New regulations and VPN disruptions in January continued a trend of growing Chinese internet insularity.

Previously, the Chinese government’s approach to foreign tech companies has been indicated by raids on Microsoft offices, a review of the national financial security implications of Chinese banks using IBM servers, and blockages of services like Dropbox and Gmail.

These moves have delayed investment and negatively affected business, but they also have surely protected domestic competitors.

With the list of products expanding, the Chinese government investing in cloud development, and the information and communications technology market in China expected to reach $465 billion in 2015 according to IDC, limiting foreign company’s market access could have a major impact on both those companies and the market itself.

“There’s no doubt that the SOE (state-owned enterprise) segment of the market has been favoring the local indigenous content,” another anonymous Western IT company executive told Reuters.

There are still some American companies that have approved products on the CGPC list, including Dell and HP.

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