In a move likely stemming from the ongoing dispute between Chinese and American officials regarding spying operations, the Chinese government has put the IBM servers much of its banks and financial institutions use under review.
As part of the investigation, which is likely an attempt to uncover any possible security holes, Chinese agencies including the Ministry of Finance are asking banks to temporarily use different local servers as opposed to IBM's for a short time, according to Bloomberg's anonymous sources.
The review marks a culmination of events that has led things to heat up between Beijing and Washington. Recently the US indicted five Chinese officials for allegedly stealing private information from US companies. US business and relations in China have suffered in the post Snowden climate, American technology sales in the region are down and the Chinese government ordered all state owned companies to break ties with US partners and consultants recently, according to a report from the Financial Times.
According to reports the review doesn't appear to be on IBM's radar. A spokesperson from the company recently gave a statement to Reuters saying, "IBM is not aware of any Chinese government policy recommending against the use of IBM servers within the country's banking industry," IBM's Ian Colley said. He went on to point out how IBM is a trusted partner in China and has been for more than 30 years. China's big four state-owned banks don't seem to have any knowledge of an order to move away from IBM servers either based on public statements.
Reports suggest the US government is also starting to think about implementing measures to mitigate Chinese espionage including making it difficult for Chinese officials to get into the US for hacker conferences.
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