China bans Symantec and Kaspersky

great wallThe Chinese government has banned anti-virus companies Symantec and Kaspersky Lab from working on government contracts behind the bamboo curtain.

A Chinese media report suggested Beijing is expanding efforts to limit use of foreign technology and Symantec, which is owned by the US and Kaspersky, which has Russian owners are no longer allowed to apply for government contracts.

The state-controlled People’s Daily reported that government procurement office had approved the use five anti-virus software brands, all from China: Qihoo 360, Venustech, CAJinchen, Beijing Jiangmin and Rising.

Kaspersky is apparently not giving up and is going to have a word with the Chinese authorities about this matter. It is too premature to go into any additional details at this time.

Beijing is keen on promoting use of domestic information technology products after leaks from former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden raised concerns about foreign surveillance programmes.

Symantec said that that China had banned use of one of its data loss prevention products and it was currently in talks about the ban. However, a Symantec spokeswoman said that there was no indication of a ban on the company’s flagship anti-virus software programs.

In May Chinese authorities had banned government use of Windows 8 “to ensure computer security after Microsoft ended support for its Windows XP operating system”, which was widely used in China.