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China says no to Pentium III, chip IDs and Win98

Barrett and Gates tools of US hegemonic ambitions, domestic chip industry to be boosted instead

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Intel is facing major problems in selling Pentium III into China, it would appear. Strange but true, although you'd expect the Chinese regime to be keen on control-freakery of all sorts, it has a major downer on the Personal Serial Number (PSN) built into Pentium III. According to a report in the Guangming Daily, the Chinese Ministry of Information Industry (MII) has identified "hidden perils in Pentium III and Win98" (so Microsoft's control-freakery is causing angst as well), and has advised government agencies accordingly. Said a spokesman: "We have conducted serious research and thus acquired a thorough knowledge of hidden security perils in PIII chips, Win98 as well as servers produced by different companies." So according to MII, Intel, Microsoft and PC OEMs are all in the frame. Domestic PC manufacturers will have to turn off PSN, while all government agencies should turn off PSN on the computers they buy. Not only that, computers with a PSN capability must be used either in stand-alone mode or on an intranet, never connected to the Internet. It's not entirely clear why Win98 is being picked-on too. Has MS been daft enough to insist on Chinese users adhering to a 'direct to Redmond' online registration procedure? Surely not... Considering the hopes Western countries have for sales of CPUs, software and hardware in China, and the vast growth potential they all reckon China has as far as the Internet is concerned, this is a real killer. But read on, and one begins to identify more of an agenda: "We have briefed altogether 13 domestic PC manufacturers on the latest developments and made clear our views. [They] indicated that since the bombing of the Chinese embassy in Yugoslavia... they have come to know more clearly the hegemonic ambitions of the United States." There you go, Craig Barrett, you're a tool of capitalist imperialism. "These domestic PC manufacturers also indicated that the most reliable way to safeguard information security is to use our own products." China is implementing rigorous security testing for "core products such as mainframe, server, processor and firewall" before they can be sold in China. Import of routers, firewalls and "network scrambler" will be banned where there are home-grown alternatives. And here's one for Chipzilla (which, we understand, has been engaged in increasingly high-level discussions with the Chinese over PSN): "Up to this day, China has not yet developed its own CPU and operating system. This is an area where China needs to speed up its efforts." ®

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