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Tuesday, July 23, 2024  
17 Muharram 1446  

Microsoft mandates iPhone migration for China and Hong Kong employees

Android users have relied on app stores operated by local brands like Huawei and Xiaomi
Photo via Reuters
Photo via Reuters

Microsoft has banned the use of Android smartphones among its employees in China and Hong Kong. According to an internal memo.

The company has directed its staff to shift to iPhones by September 2024.

The directive comes as Microsoft seeks to strengthen its cybersecurity measures and streamline its authentication processes. With the absence of the Google Play Store in mainland China, Android users have relied on app stores operated by local brands like Huawei and Xiaomi.

Microsoft has now restricted access to these platforms, leaving iPhones as the preferred choice.

“The US company will soon require Chinese-based employees to use only Apple Inc devices to verify their identities when logging in to work computers or phones,” the report states.

The switch to iPhones will enable Microsoft’s employees to utilize the company’s Authenticator password manager and Identity Pass app seamlessly.

The integration of passkey support in iOS, introduced by Apple in May 2024, aligns with Microsoft’s efforts to enhance security through biometric authentication methods like Face ID.

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The decision to ban Android devices coincides with increasing cybersecurity concerns for Microsoft. Earlier this year, the tech giant disclosed that it had been targeted by the Russian-state-sponsored hacking group, Midnight Blizzard, in a targeted reconnaissance mission that impacted several US government agencies.

By transitioning its China and Hong Kong-based workforce to iPhones, Microsoft aims to streamline its authentication processes and bolster its cybersecurity posture in the face of evolving threats.

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