Windows Gets Caught Up in U.S.-China Trade Tiff
With no signs of the trade war between the U.S. and China slowing down any time soon, things were ratcheted up another level this week. The disdain that the U.S. government has for China’s telecommunications firm Huawei is well known, and the steps they’ve taken to keep the company’s technology out of the U.S. has been well documented. Perhaps in response to those efforts to blackball the largest Chinese telecom firm, China took aim at a U.S.-based tech giant: Windows.
According to a report in the Epoch Times, Chinese government officials are preparing to replace the Windows operating system in the country’s military with their own home-grown OS. China’s reasoning for the decision? To prevent the U.S. from hacking into China’s military network.
The “Internet Security Information Leadership Group” was established by the Chinese government to execute the task of building out the Windows replacement. In addition, the group is evaluating the UNIX operating system, which is used on some servers within the People’s Liberation Army, and the German-developed programmable logic controller, which is used in 70 percent of China’s industrial control system, according to the report.
Of course, China’s claiming that the U.S. could use the Windows operating system to hack into their government and military to steal secrets is essentially a “that’s what you are, but what am I?” second-grader kind of response to the U.S.’s own ban of Huawei—a company that has direct ties to the Chinese government.
Nonetheless, China’s decision is one that will, ironically, allow them to develop their own computer operating system that they can control and have direct access to—not that any other country or independent manufacturer would ever use that operating system in their products or, perhaps, even be given access to it if that’s something they were interested in. And it’s just another example of how toxic the relationship between China and the U.S. has become in recent months.