Updated 11:29 AM EDT, Tue, Jun 16, 2020

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Foreign Tech Companies Undergo 'Security Reviews' in China

China Censorship

(Photo : Adam Dean/Bloomberg via Getty Images) A security guard walks outside the Google Inc. office in Beijing, China, on Tuesday, March 23, 2010. Google Inc., following through on a pledge to stop censoring search results in China, began serving mainland Chinese users via its unfiltered Hong Kong site, a move that could prompt the government to block the service.

The government of China is reportedly expanding its inspection of technology products developed by major foreign companies - such as Apple - in order to determine whether they constitute a threat to the nation's security and general public.

These foreign companies were caused to undergo "security reviews" that focus on encryption and data storage, according to a report by the New York Times, citing anonymous sources.

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These reviews, which subjected company tech executives and employees to personal questioning regarding individual devices, were reportedly carried out by the Cyberspace Administration of China, including experts and engineers connected to the nation's military and security organizations.

The Cyberspace Administration of China indicated that many countries have conducted similar tech security reviews and that the interrogations did not focus on any specific country or product. Furthermore, the Chinese government did not officially reveal any information on the interrogations. 

The Times suggested that American tech giants Cisco Systems and Microsoft Corporation may have been among those foreign companies that were subjected to these inspections as well.

Last April, Apple's iBooks and iTunes Movies stores have been blocked in China, after they had been launched just six months prior to that time. The reason why they were shut down by the order of the Chinese State Administration of Press, Publication, Film, and Television still remains unclear up to this point.

In mainland China, it is said that around 3,000 websites - among them are popular social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram - have been blocked under the nation's policy of internet censorship. Despite the ban, however, a number of local Chinese tech companies - such as Alibaba and Baidu - have continued to profit from the policy, which encourages domestic competition.

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