“We are investigating and engaging in conversations with Chinese authorities about this matter. It is too premature to go into any additional details at this time,” said the company, Europe's largest antivirus specialists, adding that the government’s decision was a surprise.
“The situation is not clear yet. We are waiting for further developments,” a spokesman for Kaspersky’s office in Beijing said on Monday.
The state-controlled People's Daily reported the news early on Sunday on its English Twitter feed, saying the government's procurement agency had excluded US-based Symantec Corp (SYMC.O) and Russia's Kaspersky from a list of security software suppliers.
A second tweet said the government procurement office had approved the use of five anti-virus software brands, all from China.
Kaspersky's exclusion comes after 11 years of company activity in China. In 2009, chief executive officer and co-founder Eugene Kaspersky received the National Friendship Award of China for his outstanding contribution to the country's computer security industry.