Microsoft develops special version of Windows for Chinese government

Microsoft has developed a version of Windows 10 Enterprise Edition specifically for use by the Chinese government. Beijing can use its own encryption for the software and remove certain functions.

The Windows 10 China Government Edition will be used as a test by Chinese customs authorities, at the regional level by Shanghai officials and by state-owned ICT security company Westone Information Technology. Microsoft offers the option to remove components that government employees do not use, such as OneDrive.

In addition, the Chinese government will be given control over telemetry and updates, and Beijing can apply its own encryption algorithms. Lenovo is the first manufacturer to equip systems with the Windows 10 China Government Edition.

Microsoft opened a Transparency Center in Beijing last year to give the government access to Windows code. The Chinese state demands access to the underlying code to ensure that Microsoft does not build in backdoors. Microsoft has been working with China on this since 2002, when Bill Gates announced his Government Security Program. Other countries, including Russia and the United Kingdom, were also given access to the source code as part of that program.