China's procurement agency has dropped antivirus software providers Symantec Corp and Kaspersky Lab - from the US and Russia, respectively - from a list of approved suppliers of security software, according to a report by the state owned media company People's Daily.
In a tweet posted on Sunday, on it's English Twitter feed, the People's Daily reportedly announced a new list of vendors, consisting of five anti-virus companies, all from China. These are Qihoo 360 Techology co, Venustech, CAJinchen, Beijing Jiangmin and Rising.
Among personal computer operating system suppliers, Microsoft is the only foreign vendor included in the list.
Meanwhile, Kaspersky Lab said that its products have not been banned by the Chinese government.
"The Chinese Central Government Procurement Center temporarily rescinded its endorsements of all foreign security providers, leaving only Chinese vendors on the approved list. However, this restriction only applies to federal institutions whose funding comes from the central government procurement budget, and does not include regional governments or large enterprises," the company said in an emailed statement to IB Times UK.
"We are investigating and engaging in conversations with the Chinese authorities about this matter. It is too premature to go into any additional detail at this time."
The company added that it has always met all legal requirements in the countries where it has operations, including China.
Following the scandalous revelations by US National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden, China has reportedly become increasingly suspicious of products made by foreign technology companies.
China's State Internet Information Office had announced that it would start security vetting of major IT products and services for use by national security and public interests.
Recently, representatives from China's State Administration for Industry & Commerce made surprise visits to Microsoft offices in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Chengdu, according to local media reports.
Microsoft later confirmed the development, but it did not say the reason for the investigation. However, news portal Sina reported that the investigation might have something to do with antitrust matters.
The probe on Microsoft comes a few days after China's antitrust regulator said US chipmaker Qualcomm enjoys a monopoly in the world's second largest economy.
The trade and political relations between the countries have recently been deteriorating over spying concerns, and both countries have targeted big companies especially in the technology sector.
In May, China's central government offices were banned from using Microsoft's latest operating system, Windows 8, after the US Justice Department charged five Chinese military members with hacking the systems of US companies to allegedly steal trade secrets.
US companies such as IBM and Cisco were reportedly closely monitored by China, after Snowden leaked top secret documents that revealed massive surveillance practices by the agency.