China directed all government offices and public institutions to replace non-domestic computer equipment and software with home-grown alternatives within three years, Financial Times (FT) reported.
The move is considered to be retaliation to a US government export ban on Huawei, and is tipped as a blow to companies including Microsoft, HP and Dell.
China’s government issued the demand earlier this year, with the details only coming to light after employees from two cybersecurity companies told FT their clients had revealed the details.
Beijing apparently set specific targets for the replacement of non-domestic technology, providing a boost to companies including Huawei and ZTE as they continue to face troubles in the US and other international markets.
As well as banning Huawei from buying US-made equipment in May, the US government also embarked on an international campaign to press its allies to block the vendor from 5G rollouts on security grounds.
Analysts at brokerage China Securities told FT between 20 million and 30 million pieces of hardware would have to be replaced as a result of the order, with around half the substitutions taking place in 2021.
Government offices already use Lenovo desktop computers.
Hardware, however, may not be the biggest challenge: many of the offices in question rely on Microsoft Windows or Apple macOS, which must be replaced with Chinese-developed operating systems.
One known alternative is Kylin OS, but it is challenged by having a smaller pool of developers to produce software.Subscribe to our daily newsletter Back