China ordered officials at central government agencies not to use Apple’s iPhones and other foreign-branded devices for work or bring them into the office, people familiar with the matter said.
In recent weeks, staff were given the instructions by their superiors in workplace chat groups or meetings, the people said. The directive is the latest step in Beijing’s campaign to cut reliance on foreign technology and enhance cybersecurity, and comes amid a campaign to limit flows of sensitive information outside of China’s borders.
The move by Beijing could have a chilling effect for foreign brands in China, including Apple. Apple dominates the high-end smartphone market in the country and counts China as one of its biggest markets, relying on it for about 19% of its overall revenue.
iPhones are, for all intents and purposes, a Chinese product. It seems odd they are afraid of a device that’s entirely built by Chinese people in Chinese factories owned by Chinese companies run by the Chinese government. An iPhone is about as American as a MAGA hat with a Made in China label, so why ban its use by Chinese government officials?
The answer is obvious: because the west is banning the use of Huawei and other devices – even though those are made by the same Chinese people in the same Chinese factories owned by the same Chinese companies run by the same Chinese government as iPhones are. This is a tug of war between two superpowers, and western companies heavily reliant on China, such as Apple, is going to be facing some serious consequences.