China has banned government officials from using Apple’s iPhones and other foreign-branded devices while at work or bring them into the office.
The Wall Street Journal report that staff were given the instructions by their superiors in workplace chat groups or meetings, but it wasn’t clear how widely the orders ranged.
“The ban comes ahead of an Apple (AAPL.O) event next week that analysts believe will be about launching a new line of iPhones, and could trigger concerns among foreign companies operating in China as Sino-U.S. tensions escalate.
China, for over a decade, had been seeking to reduce reliance on foreign technologies, asking state-affiliated firms such as banks to switch to local software and promoting domestic semiconductor chip manufacturing.
D.A. Davidson analyst Tom Forte said, “Even Apple is not immune … in China where it employs hundreds of thousands, if not more than a million workers, to assemble its products through its relationship with Foxconn
This “should inspire companies to diversify both their supply chain and customer concentrations to be less dependent on China in the event the tensions get worse.”
Beijing ratcheted up this campaign in 2020, when its leaders proposed a so-called “dual circulation” growth model to reduce reliance on overseas markets and technology, as its concerns over data security grew.
In May, China urged big state-owned enterprises to play a key role in its drive to attain self-reliance in technology, raising the stakes in the race amid rifts with the United States.”