Home Microsoft demands China staff use iPhones not Android phones – report

Microsoft demands China staff use iPhones not Android phones – report

TL:DR

  • Microsoft mandates iPhone use for employees in China starting September due to cybersecurity concerns.
  • iPhone 15 models will be provided to staff using Android devices, including those from Huawei and Xiaomi.
  • The decision follows a hacking attack and aims to standardize cybersecurity measures under the Secure Future Initiative.

Microsoft has announced that its employees in China will only be allowed to use iPhones for work-related activities starting in September.

The move comes as the US tech giant’s global Secure Future Initiative (SFI), aims to standardize employee cybersecurity measures across the company’s operations.

The decision revealed in an internal memo seen by Bloomberg, will affect hundreds of workers across mainland China who will now be required to use the Microsoft Authenticator password manager and Identity Pass app.

The world’s most valuable company will give iPhone 15 models to staff currently using Android handsets, including those made by Chinese manufacturers like Huawei and Xiaomi.

Why is Microsoft pushing for staff in China to switch to iPhones?

The edict comes amid heightened cybersecurity concerns for Microsoft. In January, the firm confirmed it was the subject of a hacking attack by Russian-state-sponsored Midnight Blizzard in what is said to have been a targeted recon mission affecting several US Government agencies. Microsoft has already begun notifying certain customers that hackers could have accessed their emails following the breach.

The abrupt halt on Android devices is also a result of the complicated mobile sector in China. Google Play is not available in the country, which has led smartphone makers to build and operate their own app stores. Microsoft argued the lack of Google’s services in China was a major factor in the decision. Apple’s iOS store is, however, available.

Microsoft has not addressed the issue publicly and did not answer queries from media about the reasons behind the decision.

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Sam Shedden
Executive Editor

Sam Shedden is an experienced journalist and editor with over a decade of experience in online news. A seasoned technology writer and content strategist, he has contributed to many UK regional and national publications including The Scotsman, inews.co.uk, nationalworld.com, Edinburgh Evening News, The Daily Record and more. Sam has written and edited content for audiences whose interests include media, technology, AI, start-ups and innovation. He's also produced and set-up email newsletters in numerous specialist topics in previous roles and his work on newsletters saw him nominated as Newsletter Hero Of The Year at the UK's Publisher Newsletter Awards 2023. He…

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