Microsoft asks its China-based employees to use iPhones instead of Android

Date:

Technology giant Microsoft Corporation has notified. Employees in China that they Switch from Android smartphone to Apple iPhone By September 2024This mandate is also extended to the Microsoft Hong Kong office.

Microsoft orders Chinese employees to use iPhones for work and abandon Android

Microsoft asks its China-based employees to use iPhones instead of Android

According to an internal memo reviewed by BloombergIt aims to standardize the use of the company’s mobile devices. Enhancing security and ensuring access to essential authentication apps for work purposes,

Microsoft’s memo says all mainland China employees will be required to surrender their Android-based work smartphones — including devices made by Huawei or Xiaomi — by September 2024. Instead, they will be provided with an iPhone 15 as a one-time purchase, specifically for identity verification and to use two-factor authentication when logging into their work phones.

Additionally, the iPhones will be made available for collection at various centers in China, including Hong Kong, where Google’s services are allowed. Bloomberg Employees can continue to use Android handsets as their phones, the report said.

The new rule aims to ensure that all employees use mandatory Android-based security apps such as Microsoft Authenticator and Identity Pass apps. Since the Google Play Store is not officially available in mainland China, Microsoft has decided to ban Android smartphones and opt for Apple’s iPhones instead, as Apple’s App Store is the only place where employees in China can download these security apps.

“Due to the lack of availability of Google mobile services in the region, we wanted to provide employees a means to access these essential apps, such as via an iOS device,” a Microsoft spokesperson said in an emailed statement.

This security-based change for Microsoft comes after Midnight Blizzard, a Russian-sponsored hacking group, attacked dozens of US government agencies, including the State Department and Microsoft’s own systems earlier this year.

After US lawmakers pressured Microsoft, the company announced a new Secure Future Initiative (SFI) program in November 2023. The program focuses on advocating for AI-based cybersecurity, advancements in fundamental software engineering, and a more robust application of international norms to protect citizens from cyber threats. SFI aims to rapidly address vulnerabilities in the cloud, secure credentials, and automatically implement multi-factor authentication for employees.

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