Microsoft's Beijing win raises concerns in China

Some officials are speaking out against recent deals by Microsoft and Dell to supply technology to governmental bodies.

There is growing disquiet about public sector IT contracts being awarded to Western vendors in China, a country long known for its fondness of open-source and homegrown companies.

According to reports following news in the Beijing Times last week that Microsoft had won a three-year, $3.6 million contract to supply that city's municipal government, there is criticism that foreign companies are winning such business.

The contract comes in the same week that Dell inked a $10 million agreement with Chinese education authorities. One of Dell's key long-term rivals is likely to be China-based Lenovo, previously known as Legend.

Some government officials have spoken out, saying the deals may not only be bad for domestic vendors but also potentially in violation of a procurement law brought in at the start of last year.

China is already a big market for Microsoft and some other Western IT vendors, but the rise of Asianux, an open-source operating system collaboration between the governments of China, Japan and South Korea, points to those countries looking to cheap, nonproprietary computing options.