In the latest escalation of cyber-espionage tensions between China and the United States ignited by the indictment of five PLA officers for stealing trade secrets last week, the Chinese government is requesting that banks scrap their IBM servers and replace them with a local brand.
Sources familiar to the matter who wish to remain anonymous have reported that the People’s Bank of China and the Ministry of Finance are currently reviewing whether domestic banks’ reliance on servers from the American company is comprising the nation’s financial security.
The move comes mere days after China came down on Microsoft, excluding Windows 8 from government computers and forcing state programs to switch over to a ‘Made in China’ OS.
In light of this and other recent restrictions on foreign companies – like the banning of British cheese and tightening standards for New Zealand dairy – it’s safe to assume that this is more about politics and protectionism than security.
By Ryan Kilpatrick