The Chinese government is reportedly prepping to ditch Microsoft Windows in all government offices within the next three years. According to FT, the country is planning to make the transition as part of its plans to stop using all foreign hardware and software in government departments in the future.
The latest salvo in an escalating trade war between the US and China follows a recent decision from the US government to blacklist a number of Chinese AI firms, including many that specialize in facial recognition software. In total, 20 Chinese public security bureaus and eight companies, including the video surveillance firm, Hikvision, and facial recognition firms, SenseTime and Megvii, were added to the US blacklist back in October.
According to the publication, the new policy, dubbed 3-5-2, will see the Chinese government replace 30 percent of its Windows PCs in 2020, 50 percent in 2021 and 20 percent in 2022. The move could hit not only Microsoft, but also other major US tech firms, including Dell and HP, all of whom count the Chinese government among their largest enterprise customers.
The report, which cited a research note from brokerage firm China Securities, claims that 20 million to 30 million pieces of foreign hardware equipment will have to be replaced in China because of the latest directive, which is said to have been issued by the Chinese Communist party’s Central Office earlier this year. While the policy is yet to be officially announced, FT says it has been corroborated by two separate cyber-security companies in the country, who said that they’ve also been intimated of the plan by their government clients.