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InternationalChina - No More iPhones for Government Officials

China – No More iPhones for Government Officials

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China has issued a directive instructing government officials at central government agencies to refrain from using Apple iPhones and other devices with foreign brands for official purposes or bringing them into the office.

This news was first reported by the Wall Street Journal.

These instructions were reportedly conveyed to staff by their superiors through workplace chat groups or meetings, although the extent of the distribution remains unclear.

The ban comes ahead of an upcoming Apple event expected to unveil a new line of iPhones, potentially raising concerns for foreign companies operating in China amidst escalating tensions between the United States and China.

While the report did not mention any specific phone makers aside from Apple, it highlights China’s long-standing efforts to reduce reliance on foreign technology. In the past, Beijing has encouraged state-affiliated organizations, including banks, to shift to domestic software and promote local semiconductor chip manufacturing. These initiatives have gained momentum, especially as concerns over data security have grown.

China’s focus on technological self-reliance intensified in 2020 with the proposal of a “dual circulation” growth model aimed at reducing dependence on foreign markets and technology. The country has urged major state-owned enterprises to play a central role in achieving technological self-sufficiency.

Experts say China is determined to reduce its dependence on American technologies, even affecting a company as prominent as Apple.

Analysts suggest that this development should encourage businesses to diversify their supply chains and customer bases to reduce reliance on China in the face of worsening tensions between the two nations.

Apple, a major player in China’s market, is unlikely to see an immediate impact on its earnings due to the iPhone’s popularity in the country. However, the move underscores the broader challenges that foreign companies face in China’s evolving regulatory landscape.

The directive from China is reminiscent of similar bans in the United States, where Chinese companies like Huawei and TikTok have faced restrictions. Tensions between the two superpowers have escalated, impacting various industries and raising concerns for international business operations in both countries.

Written by Alius Noreika

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