In an effort to limit its use of foreign technology, China has excluded anti-virus vendors Kaspersky Lab and Symantec Corporation from its approved vendor list. At this time, only five anti-virus brands are approved for use, all of which are developed within China. The announcement from the state-controlled People's Daily shows that Beijing is intent on using domestic information technology products, which is no doubt related to documents that were released by Edward Snowden last year that unveiled United States surveillance programs. Although Symantec officials were not available for contact, Kaspersky spokesman Alejandro Arango noted that the company is working closely with Chinese authorities about the exclusion of its software.
Kaspersky Lab and Symantec are not alone in this challenge to be listed as an approved vendor, as companies like Cisco, IBM, and Microsoft have all reportedly faced challenges with China since the release of documents pertaining to United States surveillance programs. China has even banned governmental use of Microsoft’s latest operating system, Windows 8, for personal computers.