China’s government procurement agency has removed Symantec and Kaspersky from its list of security software suppliers, ensuring that the state procures anti-virus programmes only from Chinese providers.
The move to block the use of software made by US group Symantec and Russia’s Kaspersky was revealed in an announcement on the English-language Twitter feed of the state-owned People’s Daily newspaper.
The five anti-virus softwares still in the approved list are all from China, including Qihoo 360, Venustech, CAJinchen, Beijing Jiangmin and Rising.
However, both Symantec and Kaspersky said that they had not been informed that they were no longer on the list of approved vendors.
“The Chinese Central Government Procurement Centre temporarily rescinded its endorsements of all foreign security providers, leaving only Chinese vendors on the approved list,” a statement by Kaspersky read.
“However, this restriction only applies to federal institutions whose funding comes from the central government procurement budget, and does not include regional governments or large enterprises. We are investigating and engaging in conversations with the Chinese authorities about this matter. It is too premature to go into any additional detail at this time.
A statement from Symantec confirmed that the company “is aware of media reports about the company not being on a China government procurement agency list of anti-virus suppliers.
“While we are investigating this report, we would like to clarify that Symantec continues to bid for and win governments projects in China,” it adds.
“China is one of our most important international locations and we are committed to the local government and customers. We have been active in the country for more than 15 years and have nine different offices. We have invested significantly in China and are expanding our product development here.”
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