Edward Snowden has had a profound impact on the way the entire world views online privacy. The whistleblower’s NSA leaks have also cost some of the world’s leading technology brands quite a bit of money as a direct result of lost sales.
As highlighted in a recent report from Reuters, China has removed several western-based companies from its approved state purchase list in the wake of what has proven to be widespread cyber surveillance.
Cisco Systems, for example, had 60 products on the country’s Central Government Procurement Center’s list in 2012. By late last year, Cisco had been wiped off the list completely. And they’re not the only ones as Apple, server software maker Citrix Systems and McAfee have also been kicked to the curb.
The report notes that the number of products on the list has shot up by more than 2,000 in the past two years, currently sitting at just under 5,000 approved devices. Unfortunately for US companies, almost all of the new products are those created locally in China.
In total, the number of approved foreign tech brands has dropped by a third.
Tu Xinquan, Associate Director of the China Institute of WTO Studies at the University of International Business and Economics in Beijing, said the Snowden incident has become a real concern, especially for the country’s top leaders. Xinquan added that in some sense, the American government has some responsibility for that and China’s concerns have some legitimacy.