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China 'bans foreign computer equipment from state offices'

Beijing has ordered every public institution in the country to remove foreign computer equipment and software within three years, according to the Financial Times.

The newspaper reported that the order was made by the Chinese Communist Party’s central office earlier this year, and is the first publicly known directive obliging government offices to begin purchasing equipment from domestic technology vendors.

According to the newspaper, it is part of a campaign in China to increase the country’s use of domestic technologies and reduce its dependence on foreign vendors.

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Market analysts who the newspaper spoke to suggested that up to 30 million pieces of hardware will need to be replaced as a result of the directive.

The replacements are going to take place in tranches, with 30% being substituted in 2020, 50% in 2021 and the remaining 20% the year after.

The directive only affects government departments and public institutions, and will not prohibit companies in the private sector from purchasing equipment and software from foreign companies.

It comes as trade negotiations between the US and China continue into their 18th month, although US President Donald Trump claims that the talks are progressing.

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Image: Trade talks between the US and China are ongoing

Tariffs on China’s exports have caused the country’s economy to grow at its slowest rate for almost three decades.

The US could impose new tariffs on Chinese exports worth more than $150bn (£114bn) if no forward movement is established by the US deadline of 15 December.

Beijing’s decree echoes a crackdown on Chinese technology companies in the United States and comes as the American administration pushes international partners to align themselves with the US position.

During last week’s NATO summit, Prime Minister Boris Johnson suggested that the UK would comply with the Americans’ stance on banning Huawei equipment within the country’s 5G network.


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