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China orders officials to remove foreign tech from computers

Margi Murphy
Microsoft, Dell, Intel are among the western companies that will be impacted by the ban - AP

China has ordered that foreign computer software and hardware be removed from government and public offices within three years, the first known public directive from Beijing to limit the countries dependence on western technology.  

The directive issued by the Chinese Communist party’s central office and first reported by the Financial Times, will deal a blow to American technology companies like HP, Dell and Microsoft. ARM, whose chips are used by Lenovo and Intel among many other hardware brands was not immediately contactable.

The ban mirrors Donald Trump's clampdown on the use of Chinese technology, as a bitter trade feud between the two countries escalates. 

Work to replace an estimated 20-30 million pieces of hardware will commence in 2020, according to the report.

China began building its own operating system to replace Microsoft Windows or iOS in 2013, with the help of a British company Canonical. 

Canonical was founded by South African entrepreneur Mark Shuttleworth to market commercial support and related services for Ubuntu, a Linux-based operating system which is open-source and not owned by an individual or company. 

Canonical provided technical support to build Chinese users an Ubuntu open-source operating system named Kylin, at the request of the Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technology.

Earlier this year the US banned American companies from doing business with Chinese telecommunications company Huawei. Google, Intel and Qualcomm stopped working with the technology company.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson hinted that the future of Chinese technology companies in the UK could be on the line after vowing not to involve Huawei in upcoming 5G networks if it would create a rift with security allies like the US. 

American negotiators warned the US to fall into line over China or risk a botched trade deal, The Telegraph reported earlier this year.

Mr Trump warned that the company posed a “security danger” during the Nato summit in London last week.