THE CHINESE GOVERNMENT has blacklisted security companies Symantec and Kaspersky as part of its strategy to cut the use of technology from foreign sources.
In what could be another blow in the ongoing cyber cold war with the US and other Western nations, the China People's Daily - which reported on the block through Twitter - said the country has put Symantec and Kaspersky on its blacklist of companies that it does not want to do business with in the country.
"Govt procurement agency has excluded Symantec [and] Kaspersky [from] a security software supplier list, all five in are [from] China," it said in the tweet, explaining that all five security software providers still on the approved list are Chinese.
A spokesperson for the Russian security firm Kaspersky told Reuters that it is talking with the Chinese authorities.
"We are investigating and engaging in conversations with Chinese authorities about this matter," said a spokesperson. "It is too premature to go into any additional details at this time."
Symantec has yet to respond to our request for comment.
China has been cracking down on the use of technology from overseas vendors ever since Edward Snowden's revelations came to light last year. Since then the US and China have traded spying allegations with the US accusing the Chinese military of hacking into and snooping on business and utilities and in return China accusing the US of installing backdoors into kit that is exported to the East.
The People's Daily added that the five firms still on the approved list are the Chinese vendors Qihoo 360, Venustech, CAJinchen, Beijing Jiangmin and Rising.
In May the Chinese government urged its banks to stop using servers built by IBM because it claimed that they might be used for espionage. µ