The Chinese government is reported to be encouraging the country's banks to ditch technology from US firms such as IBM and replace them with home-grown systems.
According to Bloomberg, the move could form part of China's retaliatory action against the US following last week's decision by the Department of Justice (DoJ) to charge five members of the Chinese military with conducting cyber espionage against US firms and utilities. According to Bloomberg's sources, Beijing believes US systems could pose a threat to its financial industry.
Meanwhile, the Chinese Internet Media Research Center posted its reaction to Edward Snowden's revelations by state-sponsored snooping by the US's National Securty Agency (NSA), accusing the US of using unscrupulous means to get itself deep into global communications.
"In June 2013, the media in the UK, the United States and China's Hong Kong exposed the National Security Agency's clandestine surveillance program, codenamed Prism, using documents released by the former NSA contractor Edward Snowden. The leaked information provoked shock and outrage. Subsequently, an investigation carried out by relevant Chinese authorities over several months confirmed the existence of snooping activities directed against China," it said in its introduction.
"The United States' spying operations have gone far beyond the legal rationale of ‘anti-terrorism' and have exposed its ugly face of pursuing self-interest in complete disregard of moral integrity. These operations have flagrantly breached international laws, seriously infringed upon the human rights and put global cyber security under threat. They deserve to be rejected and condemned by the whole world."
IBM dismissed the claims being made and said it was still a trusted supplier to Chinese firms.
"IBM is not aware of any Chinese government policy recommending against the use of IBM servers within the country's banking industry. IBM is a trusted partner in China and has been for more than 30 years."
Earlier this month, US tech giant Cisco was embroiled in accusations that the NSA routinely tampers with networking kit in transit to overseas customers, to help the agency monitor and gain information on surveillance targets.
In response to the revelation, Cisco chief executive John Chambers wrote to US President Barack Obama, warning him the NSA's surveillance activities are having a negative impact on the US and global economy.
"If these allegations [about the NSA installing backdoors] are true, these actions will undermine confidence in our industry and the ability of technology companies to deliver products globally," Chambers wrote.
The incidents further underline the hardening of attitudes between the US and China in the cyber arena, as both countries start to flex their muscle.
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