Beijing orders governmental offices to replace all foreign computer equipment and software

Photo from FT

The communist government has ordered all state offices to replace foreign PCs and software within three years, which stirs up the worries of the irrational preparation of “decoupling” and a potential blow to the multinational tech corporations, like Apple, Dell, HP, and Microsoft.

The FT reported that the replacement would take place in a plan called “3-5-2”, and it indicates that 30 percent of the substitution in 2020, 50 percent in 2021, and 20 percent the year after. According to the estimation, totally around 20m to 30m equipment will be switched, beginning from the next year.

The state offices already plan to use Lenovo’s kit, which includes computers from IBM. And the acquisition of Lenovo to IBM’s personal computer division completed in 2005.

However, the trickier part comes from software replacement. The foreign operating systems are dominant in the offices, such as Windows, and Apple’s macOS. However, the domestic system, such as Kylin OS, is compatible with much less software.

Another challenge is also in how to define the “homemade” hardware. For instance, Lenovo is a Chinese company, but when it comes to producing its computers, many are assembled in China, and processor chips are made by Intel and its hard drives by Samsung.

GM36

Source: FT, The Guardian

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Dec. 10, 2019