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China Bans Foreign Computers

By 2022, all foreign tech must be out of government offices and public institutions
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 9, 2019 12:00 PM CST
A security officer walks past a display with the Chinese flag and a sign reading "I Love China" at the PT Expo in Beijing, Thursday, Oct. 31, 2019.   (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)

(Newser) – Within three years, there won't be a Dell computer or Microsoft software to be found inside China's government offices. Beijing has ordered all foreign computer equipment and software be eliminated from government offices and public institutions by 2022, reports the Guardian, which notes the move will likely be "a blow to US multinational companies." The directive comes after the Trump administration recently banned US companies from doing business with Chinese telecoms company Huawei; the Guardian calls this latest move in the US-China trade war a "tech cold war." As many as 30 million pieces of hardware will need to be replaced, and the Financial Times notes that will be a challenge

Much of the software China uses was developed for US operating systems, and even computer components used inside Chinese-made computers are often made by US companies. CNBC notes the directive is being called "3-5-2" because 30% of the tech will be replaced next year, 50% in 2021, and 20% in 2022. "This is a real example of the 'splinternet' or separation of eastern and western technology worlds that is coming, and quickly," writes Rebecca Fannin at Forbes. She predicts the move will slow the pace of technological advancement globally and push prices up. Meanwhile, a piece at the South China Morning Post over the weekend predicted Trump's move to target Chinese tech firms would ultimately backfire and hurt US companies. (Read more China stories.)

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