China To Eliminate Microsoft Windows, MS Office, Other Foreign Software And Hardware Within Three Years

The ruling Chinese Government has ordered all foreign hardware and software services as well as products to be eliminated and uninstalled. The Chinese Communist Party Central Office has specifically asked government services to replace all computers running non-Chinese software and operating systems within the next 3 years.

The biggest party affected by the decision could be Microsoft. This is because the majority of the office productivity suites and operating systems being used by the Chinese Government have been developed by Microsoft. Simply put, the number of computers running the Windows Operating System and MS Office productivity suite is about to drop substantially within the next three years.

China To Dump Windows PCs And MS Office As Well As Other Foreign Software:

Chinese official state government offices and various departments have been ordered to execute a systematic purge of all foreign-origin software and hardware. The goal is reportedly to replace 30 percent of the computers and software by the end of 2020, 50 percent in 2021, and the remaining 20 percent in 2022.

The three-year “3-5-2” plan might sound ambitious, but it certainly isn’t new. The Chinese government has attempted such purges on numerous occasions, but with very limited success. However this time, the insistence is quite strong from the Chinese government, and it could achieve a substantial reduction in the number of computers running foreign-origin software.

What’s concerning is that the Chinese Government not only wants to eliminate the software component but also wants to purge the administrative offices of foreign hardware. Simply put, millions of computers and their internal components will have to be Chinese-origin. This effectively means China will boycott Intel, AMD and NVIDIA processors and GPUs. Even the ARM-based processors won’t be permitted.

It is important to note that this purge just might succeed owing to multiple factors. China has been participating in an intense trade war with the U.S. Needless to add, the majority of hardware companies that will suffer due to the orders, are U.S.-based. While the task at hand might seem insurmountable, China and Chinese companies have been preparing for this eventuality for several years. Many state-backed enterprises have been unable to use U.S. suppliers for some time. This compelled them to develop local sources.

Is Chinese Software At Par Windows 10, MS Office, Android, Etc.?

Chinese equivalents to products like Windows OS and Android OS are nowhere near the level of maturity. Moreover, the country certainly lacks developer support necessary to swap them out with little to no consequences. The Chinese government’s urgency in implementing the ban could most likely have disastrous consequences to companies that operate within the country. However, there’s still hope. The Government has presently restricted the executive order to government offices. Private companies and organizations aren’t part of the purge yet.

Analysts expect China could switch to homegrown Chinese operating systems such as Kylin OS. There could be several computers running some distribution of the Linux operating system. Interestingly, Microsoft had offered “Chinese Government Edition” of Windows 10 in 2017, but the country rejected the proposal.

As for the hardware, analysts company China Securities, estimate around 20 million to 30 million pieces of hardware will need to be replaced. Interestingly, this number will only ensure “secure and controllable” technology is used as directed by China’s 2017 Cyber Security Law. The number in no way reflects the sheer size of the software and hardware purge that will most likely take place over the next three years.

Alap Naik Desai
A B.Tech Plastics (UDCT) and a Windows enthusiast. Optimizing the OS, exploring software, searching and deploying solutions to strange and weird issues is Alap's main interest.