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Why China’s blocked Kaspersky and Symantec

Anti-virus firms replaced by Chinese companies.

By CBR Staff Writer

China’s procurement agency has removed Kaspersky and Symantec from its list of approved anti-virus software vendors for use in government departments, citing security concerns.

Only five anti-virus software vendors have been approved by the agency, and they’re all Chinese: Venustech, CAJinchen, Qihoo 360 Technology Co, Rising and Beijing Jiangmin.

After Edward Snowden’s revelations about the NSA, China has increased scrutiny of foreign companies like IBM, Qualcomm, Cisco and Microsoft, whose operating system Windows 8 was excluded from the government purchase order in May, before China labelled it a US government "pawn" in June.

The latest developments are part of the Chinese government’s plan to limit its reliance on foreign IT products and services.

According to representatives of Public Security Ministry of China, Symantec’s Data Loss Prevention software had backdoors that could provide access to unauthorised parties and it contained high-risk security loopholes.

However in a statement given to Bloomberg, the company said: "Symantec does not put hidden functionality or back doors into any of its technologies – not for the NSA or any other government entities."

Kaspersky spokesman Alejandro Arango told Reuters: "We are investigating and engaging in conversations with Chinese authorities about this matter.

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