Beijing is continuing a hard push to get American businesses out of the Middle Kingdom. In its latest stroke, the Chinese government is demanding its domestic banks remove any and all systems relying on International Business Machine Corp. (IBM) technologies. Any U.S. technologies, the government says, pose a significant national security threat to China and her people. In place of IBM systems, China will install locally produced servers as part of a trial program that aims to push technology from American-based companies out of all state-run Chinese interests altogether.
The Latest Shots Fired in a Weeks-Long Dispute over Cyber-Security
This latest move by China comes after weeks of increasing tensions over cyber-security with the United States. Last week, the country ordered all of its state-run businesses to end ties with any and all U.S. contractors. Bain & Co, McKinsey and Boston Consulting Group, and a number of other prominent organizations all have significant dealings in China, marking this as a particularly damaging development for them.
Of course, this all started when the United States accused five prominent Chinese military officers of carrying out cyber-attacks on U.S. companies and stealing trade secrets in early May. These claims enraged the Chinese government, eliciting cries of double standards and hypocrisy when China summoned the U.S. ambassador following the claims. As details of the the States acting like Big Brother across the world continue to be leaked by Edward Snowden and Glenn Greenwald, it’s not too hard for China to make that claim.
Beijing took its assault on the U.S. one step further by claiming any evidence American officials claim to have against Chinese citizens is fabricated in order to gain public support for American policies that distance Washington, D.C. from Beijing. As the two economic and military super powers continue launching volleys at each other, one things is certain: it’s going to get a lot worse — for both American and Chinese businesses and interests — before it gets better.