According to sources close to the case, central government agencies have been asked to replace foreign PCs with Chinese alternatives running an internally developed operating system over the extended weekend of May 1.
The order from Beijing could mean replacing at least 50 million PCs at the central government level alone, according to sources who wished to remain anonymous, informs Agerpres.
According to experts, the decision will most likely affect the sales of HP Inc. and Dell Technologies Inc., China’s leading PC brands, after local champion Lenovo Group Ltd. Lenovo’s shares rose up 5% on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, as did shares of software developer Kingsoft Corp. and shares of other Chinese IT equipment companies.
Replacing foreign suppliers is part of Beijing’s long-running effort to reduce China’s dependence on US technology, a vulnerability that has come to light after sanctions imposed on companies such as Huawei Technologies Co. affected Chinese companies and businesses.
The campaign to replace foreign personal computers will be extended to local authorities, who will also have to meet the two-year deadline, sources said. Some agencies, including state media and cybersecurity agencies, may continue to purchase advanced equipment from abroad on the basis of special permits, but this system may also be limited in the future.
Beijing has long encouraged the use of “Made in China” IT products in government agencies, regularly banning certain foreign products from public procurement.
In response, US IT giants such as Hewlett Packard Enterprise Co. and Microsoft have set up joint ventures with Chinese government-backed companies to win orders from state-owned companies.
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