The Chinese government has barred government officials from bringing iPhones to its workplace or using them at work. However, other foreign smartphone brands were not mentioned in the reports.
Government Officials in China Not Allowed to Use Apple Smartphones at Work
According to reports, Beijing instructed its entire staff through their superiors during meetings in the past week. The prohibition comes ahead of Apple’s forthcoming event next week, which experts speculate could feature the launching of a new series of iPhones.
Additionally, analyst speculates that the upcoming Apple event could raise concerns among foreign firms running their operations in China as Sino-US trade tension intensify.
According to reports, China is one of the largest markets for Apple. It was also reported the iPhone-producing company generates one-fifth of its revenue from the Chinese market.
However, besides the Apple brand, the reports did not reveal the brand identity of the other foreign smartphone manufacturing companies.
When Reuters requested Apple and China’s State Council Information Office (ACSCIO) to comment on China’s new orders on iPhones, the agency did not respond immediately. ACSCIO is the agency with the sole responsibility for handling all Chinese government media inquiries.
China Pushes for Self-Reliance on Technology
The Chinese government has been taking a series of steps to remain a self-dependent state. Over a decade, the country has been pushing forward to minimize its dependency on foreign technology.
Reports show that the country instructed all state-owned enterprises, like banks, to use local software. This was done to encourage the manufacturing of local semiconductor chips in China.
The Chinese government kick-started the campaign in 2020 when the country’s leaders proposed a “dual circulation” growth model to minimize the country’s dependence on foreign technology and markets.
Notably, the campaign focuses on fostering domestic production and protecting the country’s data as concerns for data security increase in its territory.
As the Chinese and the U.S. market rift worsens, the government of China urged big enterprises belonging to the state to maintain the country’s stance on self-dependence in technology to meet its goals.
The U.S. and Chinese trade war intensified as Washington cooperated with its allies to prevent China from accessing crucial resources that would enable its chip industry to remain competitive. In response, Beijing halted shipments of goods from renowned U.S. companies into the country.
This decision affected Micron Technology (MU.O.), a company in the U.S. that produces chips, and the Boing company (BA. N), which manufactures aircraft in the United States.
According to reports, multiple analysts believe Beijing’s recent decision to use iPhones by its government officials indicates that the country is not ready to spare U.S. firms on its decision to a China self-reliance stance.
An analyst at D.A. Davidson, Tom Forte, said that the current situation in China should motivate foreign businesses to diversify their customer concentration and supply chain.