China has prohibited government officials from using iPhones. According to a story in The Wall Street Journal, which cited unnamed persons familiar with the situation, China has outlawed using iPhones for employees working for the central government.
According to the WSJ, supervisors have informed employees of the ban through chat groups and meetings.
We have attempted to contact China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Apple (AAPL), but we have not heard back from either.
Even though there is no official rule regarding the matter, according to a source who frequently works with Chinese central government organizations, Chinese officials have already been adhering to an unwritten rule that dictates they should not use iPhones for several months. Due to the delicate nature of the topic, the source asked that their identity not be revealed.
In June of this year, there were reports that several Chinese government ministries have forbidden Teslas from visiting certain facilities due to security concerns.
Apple CEO Tim Cook traveled to the country in March for a high-profile visit. Around 19% of the company’s revenue comes from the Chinese market and manufacturing center. China is an important market and manufacturing hub for the company.
The ban on iPhones for government employees may be retaliation for similar steps made by the United States against Chinese technology. This prohibition could chillingly impact Apple and other significant foreign firms with an established presence in China.
The United States has placed restrictions on Chinese companies Huawei and ZTE for a long time. In addition, the Biden administration forbade the approval of new telecommunications equipment made by any of the two corporations in November 2022 because they posed “an unacceptable risk” to the national security of the United States.
TikTok has also been banned from devices issued by several US institutions, including the House of Representatives, the City of New York, Montana, New Jersey, Ohio, Texas, and Georgia. This is because of concerns that the Chinese government may have access to user data through TikTok’s Chinese parent company, Bytedance. Other US institutions that have banned TikTok include the City of New York, Montana, New Jersey, Ohio, Texas, and Georgia.