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China unable to update to Windows 11 due to foreign TPM chip ban

Windows 11 is now available to the public. Unfortunately, Microsoft’s latest operating system has strict requirements that PCs have to meet in order to qualify for the upgrade. Chief among these requirements is TPM 2.0 support. This is the main reason some (myself included) are unable to update to Windows 11. However, there are workarounds for the TPM check, both legitimate and potentially risky. Circumventing the TPM check isn’t difficult for most users around the world. But for many Chinese citizens, it’s currently impossible to update to Windows 11 due to their country’s ban on foreign TPM chips.

The ban dates back to 1999, when China banned foreign TPM chips over national security concerns. This is related to China and the United States’ ongoing chipmaking war. Without the foreign-made TPM chips Microsoft requires to update to Windows 11, Chinese users cannot update their operating systems.

“Today Microsoft released Windows 11. But the Dell laptops sold in China have filtered out TPM in accordance with China’s policies. So we can’t install it. Looking forward to a China-only version of Windows 11,” said a commentator on Weibo, China’s version of Twitter (via South China Morning Post).

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