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Microsoft employees in China banned from using Android phones

Microsoft has banned its staff in China from using Android devices on its network, mandating that they use Apple iPhones on the work network instead.

user icon Daniel Croft
Tue, 09 Jul 2024
Microsoft employees in China banned from using Android phones
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In response to prior data breaches and as part of its new Secure Future Initiative, Microsoft has advised its staff in China that when authenticating identity and accessing the corporate network or logging onto work machines, Android devices will no longer be allowed, and Apple iPhones will be mandated.

As noted by a Bloomberg report, the Google Play Store is not available in China, meaning that Android device users have to download their apps directly or through marketplaces operated by device manufacturers like Huawei and Xiaomi. This means that apps aren’t screened and authenticated for safety in the same way and risk users downloading malware.

According to the memo sent out to Microsoft staff in China, the lack of Google services prompted Microsoft to ban Android devices. The move also intends to increase the use of the Microsoft Authenticator and Identity Pass apps.


Apple’s iOS store is available in China.

According to the Bloomberg report, Microsoft plans to give its employees in China with Android devices, including from Xiaomi or Huawei, an iPhone 15 as a one-time purchase. These phones will be distributed through various hubs throughout the country, including Hong Kong.

As part of its Secure Future Initiative, Microsoft intends to increase its security in a number of ways, including shipping software with a greater standard of security, releasing cloud patches faster and managing identity signing keys faster.

It also plans to bolster its network security and increase the security of its tenant environments, ensuring only secure, healthy devices have access to tenant environments and removing entity lateral movement pivots between them and cloud environments.

It also intends to protect its production networks and systems with the new initiative.

Daniel Croft

Daniel Croft

Born in the heart of Western Sydney, Daniel Croft is a passionate journalist with an understanding for and experience writing in the technology space. Having studied at Macquarie University, he joined Momentum Media in 2022, writing across a number of publications including Australian Aviation, Cyber Security Connect and Defence Connect. Outside of writing, Daniel has a keen interest in music, and spends his time playing in bands around Sydney.

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