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China wants to replace foreign computers

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According to a newspaper report, China’s authorities should refrain from using foreign computer technology or software within three years. As the Financial Times reported on Monday , a statement from the General Office of the Central Committee of the Communist Party to government agencies and institutes plans to replace 30 percent with domestic products next year. By 2021, another 50 percent and then by 2022 the rest will be replaced. The confidential directive, which was issued months ago, was named “3-5-2” because of the timetable, the paper wrote, referring to the China Securities investment firm, two Chinese cyber-security firms, and the international think tank Eurasia , It was the first instruction with clear timetables to switch from foreign to domestic technology.

The move reflects American efforts to renounce the use of Chinese equipment such as telecom giant Huawei. The US accused the group of possible espionage and also urge their allies, for example, to refrain from the expansion of the telecom network on the super-fast 5G standard on network equipment from Huawei. The two largest economies have been engaged in a bitter trade war for more than a year. The US also operates a “decoupling” of China, which in turn wants to reduce its dependence on US technology. The efforts raise concerns, among others, in Germany and Europe, as it could lead to increasingly different standards in supply chains. As a result of the instructions of the Central Committee, many millions of devices would need to be replaced in China, which would require substantial investment. The 3-5-2 directive is part of a broader campaign, according to the Financial Times, that government agencies and critical infrastructure managers should use “secure and controllable” technology, as required by the Cyber ​​Security Act.

Whether the “3-5-2” project is feasible and technologically feasible at all, is highly doubted. Experts find it difficult to replace all software with domestic versions, because Microsoft or Apple operating systems are widely used in China, and domestic, Chinese software also runs on them. In addition, even Chinese computers are built as Lenovo with chips from American manufacturers or hard drives from South Korea.However, due to the US blockade against Huawei, the Chinese group is already pushing its own operating system for its smartphones. It will replace Google’s Android if the US government should actually prohibit its delivery to Huawei in the future. Also, China’s Defense Technology University has developed a Kylin operating system for computers based on Linux. It could replace Windows, but run significantly fewer programs. 

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