China Phases Out US Microprocessors from Government Computers Amidst Tech Trade War

Amidst escalating tensions in the ongoing technological trade war between the United States and China, Beijing has initiated a significant move to phase out US microprocessors from government computers and servers, according to a report by the Financial Times.

The reported measures entail discontinuing microprocessors manufactured by US-based giants Intel and AMD, along with Microsoft’s Windows operating system, in Chinese government systems. This shift signifies a strategic pivot towards prioritising domestic technology solutions within China’s governmental infrastructure.

Commencing this year, government agencies above the local level will be mandated to adhere to new procurement guidelines emphasising the adoption of “safe and reliable” processors and operating systems. As outlined in directives from China’s industry ministry issued in late December, these criteria aim to bolster reliance on domestically developed technologies.

Reuters reported that the directives specified lists of approved CPUs, operating systems, and centralised databases, all exclusively sourced from Chinese companies. Among the approved entities mentioned was Huawei, a prominent Chinese technology firm.

This strategic move underscores Beijing’s broader objective of reducing dependence on foreign technology while nurturing the growth of its domestic semiconductor and technology sectors. The initiative aligns with China’s long-term goals of achieving self-sufficiency in critical technological domains and mitigating vulnerabilities from reliance on external sources.

The phased withdrawal of US microprocessors from government infrastructure represents the latest escalation in what has been characterised as a technological trade war between the two global powers. The Chinese government’s emphasis on national technology mirrors efforts undertaken by the Biden administration, such as the 2022 CHIPS and Science Act, which aim to bolster domestic semiconductor production and reduce reliance on Chinese imports.

The Financial Times highlighted the potential ramifications of China’s directive on US companies operating within its borders, particularly major players like Intel and AMD, whose sales in China accounted for a significant portion of their global revenue the previous year. The move is expected to pressure these companies and disrupt their operations in one of the world’s largest technology markets.

As geopolitical tensions continue to shape the landscape of global technology and trade, the ramifications of China’s decision to curtail US microprocessors in government systems are likely to reverberate across industries, further intensifying competition and reshaping market dynamics.


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