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China Takes Aim at Apple: Bans iPhones for Government Officials in Tech Independence Drive

China Takes Aim at Apple: Bans iPhones for Government Officials in Tech Independence Drive

  • by Ozhan Ozkan

Chinese authorities have issued orders to officials working in central government agencies, instructing them to refrain from using Apple iPhones and other foreign-brand devices for official purposes. These gadgets are also prohibited from being brought into agency buildings. Civil servants received these directives through chat groups or during work meetings. This initiative is part of a broader program aimed at reducing China's reliance on foreign technology, enhancing cybersecurity, and curbing the flow of sensitive data across national borders. It is expected to impact the market position of foreign smartphone brands in China, particularly Apple, which dominates the premium segment and derives approximately 19% of its total revenue from the Chinese market.

The extent of the new regulation remains unclear, as it is reported to apply specifically to employees of certain central regulatory bodies. In the past, officials from several Chinese government departments were already prohibited from using iPhones for official purposes, and this ban has now been extended. Notably, similar bans exist in the United States, where government employees are prohibited from using Huawei equipment and installing the TikTok app on government-owned devices. Data security concerns are a common thread in both countries, and diplomatic tensions have been on the rise.

Beijing is urging all government agencies and state-owned enterprises to replace foreign technological solutions, including computers, operating systems, and other software, with Chinese alternatives that are perceived as more secure and under domestic control.


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