China bans Apple mobile devices for government officials

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China has ordered its government officials to stop using Apple iPhones and other foreign-branded devices for official purposes, as revealed by the Wall Street Journal on Wednesday.

This move follows similar technology restrictions that Western countries have imposed on Chinese tech firms. Beijing’s primary objective is to tighten controls on information security, while domestic companies aim to bolster their high-tech industries to compete with heavyweight American counterparts.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the directives regarding this ban were relayed by higher-ranking officials to their subordinates in recent weeks. However, the full scope of the prohibition remains somewhat uncertain.

This new policy from Beijing has the potential to impact Apple’s position in China, which stands as the company’s most significant market after the United States. Approximately one-fifth of Apple’s revenue is generated from the Chinese market.

What you should know

The timing of this development is noteworthy as Apple is set to unveil its latest range of devices, the iPhone 15 series, in less than a week. Any actions that might hinder iPhone sales in China could influence Apple’s overall financial performance.

The company is set to launch four new phones on September 12, including the iPhone 15, iPhone 15 Plus, iPhone 15 Pro, and iPhone 15 Pro Max.

Moreover, China’s move can also be interpreted as an effort to promote the adoption of Chinese brands within the country.

This decision comes amidst rumours that Chinese smartphone giant Huawei has successfully developed an advanced 7nm chipset for its Mate 60 Pro.

Given the challenges Huawei has faced due to U.S. restrictions, the launch of the Mate 60 Pro with an independent chipset marks a significant achievement for both China and Huawei.

It is worth noting that in addition to Huawei, the United States has been considering restrictions on the popular ByteDance app TikTok, with some states like Montana already announcing bans on the platform.

A closer look at the reciprocal restrictions between nations has the potential to create more isolated markets worldwide, raising concerns about the future of global technology trade and cooperation

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