China orders review of IBM servers in banks

Latest volley in Beijing-Washington cyber spat puts Big Blue’s kit under spotlight

Tags: ChinaCyber crimeUSA
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China orders review of IBM servers in banks An anonymous source at one of China’s big-four banks says swapping out IBM systems would be no easy task. (Getty Images)
By  Stephen McBride Published  May 27, 2014

Chinese government agencies are reviewing the use of IBM servers in domestic banks, with a view to prohibiting their use if they are found to compromise the financial security of the nation, Bloomberg reported.

Involved agencies include the People's Bank of China and the Ministry of Finance and the results of the review will be presented to an Internet security committee chaired by President Xi Jinping. Xi has taken a particular interest in cyber security and Internet controls since being appointed to his position last year.

"We haven't heard about the order," said an unnamed IT official in one of China's "big four" state-owned banks.

"There [isn't] any locally made hardware around that can handle the massive amount of data in the banking industry."

The review of IBM servers is the latest in a long line of seemingly retaliatory moves taken by Beijing after US prosecutors issued in absentia indictments against five Chinese military officers for hacking into US company servers.

Since the indictments were brought, Windows 8 has been banned on Chinese government machines; foreign-built hardware has been subjected to security checks; and Chinese state-owned enterprises have been instructed to stop using American consulting firms.

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