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IBM dodges China's blacklist with landmark cloud security deal

Big blue to provide cloud-based risk analysis for Chinese financial firm
Thu Aug 07 2014, 15:19
IBM logo in black with white text

BIG BLUE IBM has revealed that it has signed a deal with a Chinese financial firm to provide cloud-based risk analysis, a move that comes as foreign companies are increasingly being shunned in the country.

As reported by Reuters on Thursday, IBM will provide cloud risk analysis for financial data provider Shanghai Wind Information, which will see the Chinese firm sending publicly available data to IBM "without having to disclose specific portfolio holdings or having to install IBM software or hardware on its servers".

Interestingly, the move comes just months after the Chinese government urged its banks to stop using servers built by IBM, over fears of espionage following Edward Snowden's NSA snooping revelations.

"This is an innovative deployment model in that IBM never receives client information," Andrew Aziz, IBM director of risk analytics, told Reuters.

Aziz added that the new business model "continues to comply with the local laws, including data privacy laws in China and in all countries in which it operates".

The deal is being heralded as a landmark one, as in recent weeks technology firms including Apple, Kaspersky and and Symantec have found themselves on China's blacklist due to "security concerns", following in the footsteps of Microsoft, whose Windows 8 operating system was banned in the country earlier this year.

Earlier this week, for example, the Chinese government removed 10 Apple products - including the iPad and Macbook Air - from its procurement list, meaning these devices cannot be bought by the government as they are considered a security risk to the country.

This came just days after Kaspersky and Symantec found their antivirus products in China's bad books, with the government's "approved" list of security firms now including companies only from China.

IBM is yet to comment further on its latest partnership. µ


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