China removes Apple, other US tech companies from approved government purchase lists

Posted:
in General Discussion edited February 2015
China has blacklisted Apple and a number of other big name U.S. technology brands from its approved state purchase lists, leaving local companies to fill the resulting void, according to a report published on Wednesday.

Xidan Joy City Apple Store in Beijing, China. | Source: Apple


Reuters reports that China's Central Government Procurement Center's (CGPC) struck products and services made by foreign companies from its approved state purchase lists, while at the same time approving thousands of products made domestically. The change is thought to be motivated by concerns over Western cybersurveillance operations.

Over a two-year span from 2012 to 2014, the CGPC added more than 2,000 new products to its list, which dictates spending by central state ministries, bringing the total to nearly 5,000. That increase was largely thanks to local vendors, however, as foreign brand presence dipped by one third over the same period.

Apple, Cisco, Intel, McAfee and Citrix Systems were all culled from the lists, the report said. Cisco Systems appears to be the biggest loser in China's recent policy shift, as the network hardware firm saw its share of approved products drop from 60 in 2012 down to none by late 2014.

Citing an unnamed official within CGPC, the publication said any number of reasons can be attributed to the list change, including assurances from domestic firms that their products are more secure than foreign solutions.

The new Chinese regulations come on the heels of revelations regarding U.S. cybersurveillance activities run by the National Security Agency, brought to light by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.

Following allegations of Apple involvement in a secret NSA spying program last year, China Central Television aired a report that called iOS location tracking "a national security concern." To help alleviate concerns, Apple moved Chinese users' iCloud data to servers within China.

Apple in January reportedly agreed to subject its consumer products to security audits by the China's State Internet Information Office. The move was supposedly intended to persuade Chinese regulators that rumors of software backdoors and third-party data sharing were false.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 59
    Gee, is it August again already?
  • Reply 2 of 59

    Of course they did. You can’t spy on your government workers to make sure they toe the Party line when they’re using Apple products.

  • Reply 3 of 59
    China needs to be launched off to become their own planet. That would solve all of these problems.
  • Reply 4 of 59

    I don't get it. Does this mean Apple can not sell iPhone, iPad, Mac and Watch in China anymore?

  • Reply 5 of 59
    Well, you won't find many U.S. Government departments buying routers from Huawei. Works both ways.

    It is getting hard to find laptops that weren't made in China though.
  • Reply 6 of 59
    I’m sure Lenovo is the computer of choice to better spy on its citizens with all that great pre-installed software!
  • Reply 7 of 59
    slurpyslurpy Posts: 5,116member

    What a bunch of fucking idiots. Yes, I'm sure there's US spyware installed on Macs and iOS devices. Yup.  

  • Reply 8 of 59
    nagrommenagromme Posts: 2,834member
    The US government has done their utmost to destroy the security and privacy reputations of US tech firms.
  • Reply 9 of 59
    Time to get China kicked out of the WTO.
  • Reply 10 of 59
    nagrommenagromme Posts: 2,834member
    slurpy wrote: »
    What a bunch of fucking idiots. Yes, I'm sure there's US spyware installed on Macs and iOS devices. Yup.  

    You can be sure the U.S. has made multiple efforts towards that--and towards simply keeping back doors for future use. I agree they have probably failed in Apple's case. But is "probably" good enough for a foreign government? I'm appalled by China's Internet policies, but it's also hard not to see a concern re any US or UK company.

    Surely people can see that our own government shares at least SOME of the blame here.
  • Reply 11 of 59
    Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

    Time to get China kicked out of the WTO.

     

    That’s what they want, though. Then again, BRICs’ subversion of fiat currencies is good for any other country capable of kicking themselves out of that nonsense, too. Yeah, there’ll be a huge problem for a year or two, but afterward…

  • Reply 12 of 59
    nagromme wrote: »
    You can be sure the U.S. has made multiple efforts towards that--and towards simply keeping back doors for future use. I agree they have probably failed in Apple's case. But is "probably" good enough for a foreign government? I'm appalled by China's Internet policies, but it's also hard not to see a concern re any US or UK company.

    Surely people can see that our own government shares at least SOME of the blame here.

    Keep in mind that despite the good that Snowden has done by exposing unconstitutional and illegal acts in our own country, there are no Snowdens in Russia or China or North Korea or Iran.
  • Reply 13 of 59
    Let's see how long it takes non-Chinese entities to hack any remaining 'approved' systems.
  • Reply 14 of 59
    The change is thought to be motivated by concerns over Western cybersurveillance operations.

    Come on, guys, from their perspective can you blame from not trusting tech from US companies when there has been a lot of evidence showing how the US gov't has been spying on people all over the world? I'm not saying their concern is accurate, but I can certainly see why a foreign government might want to be cautious. Hell, just last week there was a big issue with Lenovo and Superfishphish so I can't imagine we would want Lenovo (or Samsung) in our gov't.
  • Reply 15 of 59
    I really wish there'd be a way to stop buying from China. All this them getting what they want but simply having the power of supplying the whole world with their goods needs to end.

    Yes China, we can buy from you no problem, but hell we abstain from selling you things. Just tell us, we comply. No problem.

    It's sad world.
  • Reply 16 of 59
    [SIZE=4]No worries. Governments have approved buying lists, but they also have approved ways around buying off the lists. If one makes a good case for buying Apple products, and Apple isn't on the approved list, the sale will be approved on a case-by-case basis. It just happens.

    Finally, anyone that does business in China learns quickly that rules and regulations are more like "suggestions" in how they are obeyed.[/SIZE]
  • Reply 17 of 59
    quinneyquinney Posts: 2,524member
    nagromme wrote: »
    You can be sure the U.S. has made multiple efforts towards that--and towards simply keeping back doors for future use. I agree they have probably failed in Apple's case. But is "probably" good enough for a foreign government? I'm appalled by China's Internet policies, but it's also hard not to see a concern re any US or UK company.

    Surely people can see that our own government shares at least SOME of the blame here.

    Keep in mind that despite the good that Snowden has done by exposing unconstitutional and illegal acts in our own country, there are no Snowdens in Russia or China or North Korea or Iran.

    Are you sure there isn't one Snowden in Russia?
  • Reply 18 of 59

    Oh My! This is going to be headline news on Marketwatch and CNBC tomorrow and they will be all over it. Apple shares are going to to take a 20% hit tomorrow

    </s>

  • Reply 19 of 59
    cnocbuicnocbui Posts: 3,613member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SolipsismY View Post





    Come on, guys, from their perspective can you blame from not trusting tech from US companies when there has been a lot of evidence showing how the US gov't has been spying on people all over the world? I'm not saying their concern is accurate, but I can certainly see why a foreign government might want to be cautious. Hell, just last week there was a big issue with Lenovo and Superfishphish so I can't imagine we would want Lenovo (or Samsung) in our gov't.



    Lenovo ain't got nothing on the NSA and GCHQ.  The hack of the Dutch SIM card and security chip manufacturer Gemalto is potentially of far more concern.  Even an iPhone wouldn't be immune if they really pulled it off.  http://www.techtimes.com/articles/35393/20150225/gemalto-confirms-hacking-spies-no-massive-sim-key-theft.htm

     

    Then there is the compromised hard drive firmware one...

  • Reply 20 of 59
    iqatedoiqatedo Posts: 1,595member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post



    China has blacklisted Apple and a number of other big name U.S. technology brands... The change is thought to be motivated by concerns over Western cybersurveillance operations.



    ...

     

    This should probably read 'The change is thought to be motivated by concerns over Western counter-cybersurveillance operations.' :\

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