China Says No to Symantec & Kaspersky Lab

Chinese state media is reporting that Symantec and Kaspersky Lab are no longer state-approved anti-virus vendors, stoking speculation that China is doing more and more to step away from foreign technologies.

Reuters reports that China’s state-controlled People’s Daily sent out a tweet on its English language account specifically saying that Symantec and Kaspersky Lab were excluded from the approved government procurement list and all five on the list were Chinese vendors.

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The approved vendors are Qihoo 360 Technology Co, Venustech, CAJinchen, Beijing Jiangmin and Rising.

Kaspersky provided the statement below.

“We are investigating and engaging in conversations with Chinese authorities about this matter. It is too premature to go into any additional details at this time.”

Meanwhile, Symantec spoke briefly with Bloomberg to state that “Symantec does not put hidden functionality or back doors into any of its technologies -– not for the NSA or any other government entities.”

China has voiced concerns since the Snowden revelations that US software firms, or any other country firms for that matter, may be involved in surveillance. As a result, Chinese authorities have been making concerted efforts to use China-only technologies. Tensions were also heightened after the US charged a number of Chinese hackers with cyber espionage earlier this year.

The use of Windows 8 was even banned back in May, though authorities claimed that this was a precautionary measure in the wake of Windows XP’s security support coming to an end.

Symantec is sure to be displeased with this news of its services being banned in China as it has struggled with sales in Asia of late, including a 10 percent drop in revenue in Asia Pacific in March year on year.