Under a plan dubbed as “3-5-2”, China has ordered that all foreign computer equipment and software be removed from government offices and public institutions within three years, the Financial Times reported.
China will begin a large scale replacement program under which 30 per cent of foreign personal computer (PC) equipment and software will be removed in 2020, 50 per cent in 2021, and 20 per cent the year after.
The directive by Chinese government is viewed as a setback to US multinational companies like HP, Dell and Microsoft . The plan is seen as a retaliatory step against Washington’s moves to limit the use of Chinese technology, as the trade war between the countries turns into a technology war.
According to the FT report, the directive would result in an estimated 20 to 30 million pieces of hardware needing to be replaced and that this work would begin in 2020.
It remains to be seen how the hardwareand software replacement will be achieved in a three-year timeframe. Chinese government offices promotes the use of desktop computers from the Chinese-owned company Lenovo, but various components of the computers, including its processor chips and hard drives are made by American companies.
On May 16, the US Commerce Department to place Huawei on its entity list which blocks companies from supplying US-sourced technology to Huawei without a license.
Trump Administration has also initiated measures to bar US carriers from using Huawei equipment for next-generation 5G networks on the grounds of national security. Huawei had made massive investment in 5G wireless technology, hoping to lead the world in the race to adopt the new technology.
The United States has charged that Huawei and its widely used technologies is potentially accessed by the Chinese state for its espionage. The company has pushed back on the claim, insisting that it is an independent company with no government ties.
Huawei is the world’s largest maker of telecommunications equipment and the number two vendor of smartphones, ahead of Apple Inc. and behind Samsung Electronics Co.