Government ban on Chinese gadgets begins
By Lee Hsin-fang and Jonathan Chin / Journalist, with Editor-in-Chief
A ban on Chinese-made electronic devices for government use went into effect yesterday, with central and local government agencies reporting a near-total replacement of these devices, a source familiar with the matter said yesterday.
Speaking on condition of anonymity, the official said that in only a few cases, the Executive Yuan has allowed certain agencies to retain electronic products made in China for training or evaluation purposes.
The source declined to elaborate on the makes, models and amount of Chinese-made equipment still in use, citing the sensitivity of the information.
Huawei Technologies Co (華為) products are under particular scrutiny due to the company’s ties to the Chinese military, the source said.
Another priority is the ban on personal devices used in government agency networks, they said.
The administration of President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) was reluctant about the prevalence of Chinese electronics in government agencies before the ban.
In a document dated May last year, the Executive Yuan said 19,256 electronic devices – including 4,556 Chinese-made drones and security cameras – were in use at 2,596 agencies, including schools.
The main Chinese manufacturers of drones and cameras used are SZ DJI Technology Co (大 疆 創新), TP-Link Technologies Co (普 聯 技術) and Hangzhou Hikvision Digital Technology Co (海康威 視), he said. .
The Executive Yuan announced the ban in December 2020, citing information security concerns. It prohibits the government’s use of Chinese electronic devices, personal software on work devices, and personal electronic devices in government networks.
The Executive Yuan also said that all local and central government agencies are to report on Chinese electronics used by contractors and subcontractors, urging them to replace the equipment before this year.
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