China bans Symantec, Kaspersky software from govt systems

Symantec and Kaspersky Lab have become the latest victims of Chinese government’s procurement agency’s axe as the two firms have been dropped from the approved list of security software suppliers, reports People’s Daily Online.

Apparently, the only five AV software on the list are those developed by Qihoo 360, Venustech, CAJinchen, Beijing Jiangmin and Rising – all China-based companies.

There has been no official explanation about this move.

China’s increased wariness of foreign-made software comes in the wake of the revelations made by Edward Snowden and accusations of US-based companies installing backdoors at the behest of the NSA.

Back in May, China has announced that it will start vetting the security of IT products and services used by the government, especially those provided by foreign companies.

Symantec has denied that their products include “hidden functionality or back doors” for the NSA or any other government entities, and Kaspersky Lab is still investigating the matter and is in talks with the Chinese government regarding their decision.

Currently, the only US-based company that is still on the list of approved software is Microsoft – despite having had their offices raided and being under government investigation, and the government banning Windows 8 from its computers.

UPDATE: Both Kaspersky and Symantec have stated that their products haven’t been entirely banned by the Chinese government.

“It is important to note that this list is only for certain types of procurement,” Symantec said, while Kaspersky Lab noted that “this restriction only applies to national-level institutions whose funding comes from the central government procurement budget, and does not include regional governments or large enterprises.”

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