Chinese companies seek damages for flawed update

But Symantec, which issued the update, says priority is to restore users' systems; plans to open Chinese response center.

Enterprise customers in China affected by Symantec's flawed antivirus update are seeking compensation from the security vendor, according to Chinese news reports.

On May 17, a routine antivirus signature update crippled PCs in China after two critical system files in the Simplified Chinese edition of Window XP were mistakenly identified as Trojan horse malware.

According to Chinese news reports last week, Symantec's enterprise customers are now seeking compensation for losses as a result of the error--damages which are estimated to range from RMB 100,000 (US$13,060) to over RMB 1 million (US$130,600).

In a transcript of a press conference in Beijing last Wednesday, Symantec's Greater China representative Huang Jiahui apologized to affected customers, but stopped short of indicating if the company will accede to compensation requests.

Huang told reporters that the topmost priority for Symantec is to help affected users restore their systems. Other issues such as compensation will be addressed later, he said.

Huang also said there is no way for Symantec to determine the number of users impacted by the false positive, since the problem only affects users with specific system configurations.

At the press conference, Symantec also announced the creation of a new Security Response Center in China to address security threats facing Chinese and global customers alike.

Vincent Weafer, senior director of development at Symantec Security Response, told Chinese reporters that the company is now in the process of hiring engineers for the new center, which is expected to be operational in the second half of this year.