BOSTON, July 10 U.S. security software maker
Symantec Corp said it is holding discussions with
authorities in Beijing after a state-controlled Chinese
newspaper reported that the Ministry of Public Security had
banned the use of one of its products.
The China Daily reported on July 4 that the ministry had
issued an order to branches across the nation telling them to
uninstall Symantec's data loss prevention, or DLP, products from
their systems, saying the software "could pose information
The newspaper also said Chinese news site Sohu.com had
reported that the public security bureau had banned Symantec's
DLP products from future procurement projects. (bit.ly/1okVF3v)
Symantec spokeswoman Colleen Lacter told Reuters that her
company was in discussions with the Chinese government about the
matter, though she declined to confirm or deny the newspaper's
account of what had happened.
"The discussions are ongoing and it's premature to go into
detail at this time," Lacter said via email.
When asked if other Chinese government agencies were pulling
out Symantec's software, Lacter said: "We believe (this) is an
isolated incident to the Ministry of Public Security."
The ministry declined to provide immediate comment by phone
and did not respond to faxed questions.
DLP software helps organizations prevent workers from
intentionally or unintentionally removing sensitive data from
computer networks. It is one of several categories of security
software sold by Symantec, which is best known for anti-virus
programs that detect malicious software on personal computers.
Talk of China's decision to target Symantec comes following
reports in May that China banned government use of Windows 8,
the current version of Microsoft Corp's operating
system for personal computers.
The official Xinhua news agency said the ban was to ensure
computer security after Microsoft ended support for its Windows
XP operating system, which was widely used in China.
(Reporting by Jim Finkle; Additional reporting by Beijing
Newsroom; Editing by Christopher Cushing)