China Bans Intel and AMD Chips in Government Computers

china bans intel and amd chips in government computers

Sypnosis: New Policy of China Bans Intel and AMD chips in Government computer and servers.

China has brought new guidelines aiming to phase out US microprocessors manufactured by Intel and AMD from government PCs and servers, as part of a broader initiative to replace foreign technology with domestically developed solutions.

The updated government procurement directives also aim to reduce dependence on Microsoft’s Windows operating system and foreign-made database software, and opting  for domestic alternatives. This initiative is aligned with a concurrent push within state-owned enterprises towards localization.

These stringent procurement regulations mark China’s most significant move to date in fostering domestic alternatives to foreign technology, mirroring similar efforts in the US amid escalating tensions between the two nations.

In response to perceived national security threats, Washington has increasingly imposed sanctions on Chinese companies, enacted legislation to incentivize domestic tech production, and restricted exports of advanced chips and associated tools to China.

Implemented earlier this year, the new guidelines for PC, laptop, and server procurement were quietly introduced by the finance ministry and the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) on December 26.

These directives mandate that government agencies and party organs above the township level prioritize “safe and reliable” processors and operating systems in their purchasing decisions.

Simultaneously, on the same day in December, China’s state testing agency, the China Information Technology Security Evaluation Centre, released its inaugural list of “safe and reliable” processors and operating systems, all sourced from Chinese companies.

Among the 18 approved processors were chips manufactured by Huawei and the state-backed group Phytium, both of which are subject to export restrictions by the US.
This would serve as a major blow to Intel and AMD, as a significant amount of their revenue comes from China. The region makes up for 27% of Intel’s $53 billion in sales, while AMD had 15% of its $23 billion revenue in China, but let’s not forget that government computers would make a much smaller figure of this revenue.

Chinese processor manufacturers are employing a variety of chip architectures, including Intel’s x86, Arm, and indigenous designs, while operating systems are derived from open-source Linux software.

This procurement overhaul in Beijing is part of a broader national strategy known as xinchuang or “IT application innovation,” which aims to achieve technological self-reliance across military, government, and state sectors

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