China is a country known for their heavy censorship on the internet and have gone to great lengths to try and limit the scope of foreign internet websites and services that can be accessed within the country. This has resulted in China creating local versions of popular internet services, like Youku, Weibo, Alibaba, and so on.
Now previously China had stated that they would be banning the installation of Windows 8 on government computers, with the reasoning that it would “save energy” and ensure security. Previously they had stated that the upgrade would be too expensive. Now it seems that Chinese academics are taking to national television to publicly criticize the operating system, claiming that the installation of Windows 8 could be a security risk.
According to one academic, Ni Guangnam, he believes that Windows 8 could be used as a way for the US to monitor China’s activities. “Your identity, account, contact book, phone numbers, all this data can be put together for big data analysis. The US has a law that requires anyone that has this data to report to the government. The data might be a good way for the US to monitor other countries.”
Another academic by the name of Yang Min from the Fudan University explains that this is because Microsoft would not share the source code of Windows 8 with the Chinese government. He also states that the security of Windows 8 has been designed to allow Microsoft to have better access to users’ database, which in turn made it a cybersecurity threat for China.
It is unclear if this is just to scare the country’s citizens into a more local alternative, or if some of their claims are true, but recently China has called for the “punishment” for companies like Facebook, Google, Microsoft, and Apple for allegedly being complicit in the NSA’s project PRISM.