Apple, Intel, Cisco Booted From Chinese Government’s ‘Approved Purchase’ List

China has banned several prominent technology brands from its approved purchase list, presumably because it fears that foreign companies are helping the U.S. government with its spying efforts. There are several well-known names on the list, including Apple, Intel, and Cisco, the latter of which is perhaps being hit the hardest by the ban.

According to Reuters, Cisco had no less than 60 products on the Central Government Procurement Center's (CGPC) list in 2012, but they've all disappeared by the end of 2014. It's assumed that the ban on these and other products is in reaction to the disclosures of former National Security Agency (NSA) contractor Edward Snowden on the U.S. government's widespread surveillance program.

"We have previously acknowledged that geopolitical concerns have impacted our business in certain emerging markets," a Cisco spokesman said.

China Apple

Another theory floating around is that China is trying to protect itself from foreign competition while boosting its domestic technology industry.

Apple, Intel's security software firm McAfee, and server software firm Citrix Systems have also been dropped in the same time period. Doing so has brought more business to China's local hardware and software makers, which explains why even though top technologies have been dropped from the list, the number of approved products has grown by more than 2,000 products to 5,000 in the past two years.

Despite the benefit to local makers, China's abrupt bans have coincided with Snowden's leaks of classified information. Adding some irony to the situation, some experts say that China's increasing dependence on domestic technologies that are inferior to foreign top firms puts the country at greater risk of cyberattacks.