CXO

Microsoft's Beijing win raises concerns in China

Some officials are speaking out against recent deals by Microsoft and Dell to supply technology to governmental bodies.

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By Tony Hallett
CNET News.com

There is growing disquiet about public sector IT contracts being awarded to Western vendors in China, a country long known for its fondness of open-source and homegrown companies.

According to reports following news in the Beijing Times last week that Microsoft had won a three-year, $3.6 million contract to supply that city's municipal government, there is criticism that foreign companies are winning such business.

The contract comes in the same week that Dell inked a $10 million agreement with Chinese education authorities. One of Dell's key long-term rivals is likely to be China-based Lenovo, previously known as Legend.

Some government officials have spoken out, saying the deals may not only be bad for domestic vendors but also potentially in violation of a procurement law brought in at the start of last year.

China is already a big market for Microsoft and some other Western IT vendors, but the rise of Asianux, an open-source operating system collaboration between the governments of China, Japan and South Korea, points to those countries looking to cheap, nonproprietary computing options.

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