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Why is China prohibiting officials and state employees from using iPhones?

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Image credit : NY Post After imposing the ban on iPhone to the central government employees, the Chinese government has reportedly extended its ban of iPhones to the local government employees including state-owned companies.  This impact has trickled down to several other corporate institutions as they have begun urging employees not to bring iPhones to the workplace.  According to Nikkei Asia's report, a state-owned company has informed its employees that starting next month, individuals who handle confidential business information are prohibited from bringing iPhones, Apple Watches, or AirPods to the workplace. This development is seen as a result of recent tech and trade war between Beijing and Washington. Why ban the iPhone and why now? The latest ban does not seem surprising to the analysts related to China as the China government wants to curtail its reliance on US and western tech by curbing the use of flagship devices at workplace.  [caption id="attachment_193128" align="aligncenter" width="1600"]iphone-china Image credit : 9To5Mac[/caption] With this initiative Beijing aims to ramp up its domestic tech production including Shenzhen-based Huawei, whose recently launched $1,200 Mate 60 Pro has been received well by the analysts and is termed as a formidable competitor of iPhone.  Interestingly, the recent ban coincides with the launch of Huawei Mate 60 Pro. In the past, the US and China have been suspicious of each other’s tech companies as they have been critical of the potential security risks that could lead to the leak of sensitive data.  In May this year, Montana became the first US state to impose a ban on Chinese-owned TikTok over data privacy concerns, with a number of other states considering the same. Due to this ban Apple’s stock price fell nearly 6 percent between Wednesday and close of business on Friday, biting away nearly $200bn off the value of the world’s top valued tech firm. [caption id="attachment_193130" align="aligncenter" width="2560"]iPhone ban Image credit : SCMP[/caption] China stands as one of Apple's primary markets, contributing almost 20% of its total revenue. In fact, when you consider Greater China, encompassing China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan, it emerges as Apple's third-largest market, responsible for 19% of its impressive $394 billion in sales in the previous year. According to Erik Woodring, a Morgan Stanley analyst, the recent declines in Apple's market share are exaggerated, and he does not foresee these restrictions leading to more extensive consequences. Woodring's most pessimistic projection suggests that Apple might experience a 4% reduction in its revenue as a worst-case scenario. “China is critical to Apple‘s success, but Apple is also critical to the Chinese economy,” he said. Also read : US Launches Probes Into Made-in-China Chip Amid Mate 60 Pro Launch “While the potential for a broad decoupling between Apple and China in this multipolar world clearly exists, we don’t believe recent headlines are necessarily foreshadowing this ‘worst case’ scenario.” While some experts see it as China’s response to the ban on Huawei by the US from the 5G networks, especially the chip war between both the countries culminated in China’s banning the Apple products to its officials and employees. 

By Awanish Kumar

I keep abreast of the latest technological developments to bring you unfiltered information about gadgets.


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