In September, China started banning officials from using iPhones and other foreign technology within government agencies. A new report from Bloomberg today says that the ban on iPhone use has expanded to more Chinese agencies, covering “at least eight provinces.”
The report describes this as a “major step-up” from the initial iPhone ban in September, which impacted just a “small number of agencies” in China. Instead of iPhones or other foreign smartphones, Chinese officials are asking government workers to use smartphone brands from local companies.
“Multiple state firms and government departments across at least eight provinces — including the prosperous coast — instructed employees in the past month or two to start carrying local brands,” Bloomberg reports.
Multiple state firms and government departments across at least eight provinces — including the prosperous coast — instructed employees in the past month or two to start carrying local brands, according to people familiar with the matter. That’s a major step-up from around September, when a small number of agencies in Beijing and Tianjin began telling staff to leave foreign devices at home, said the people, who asked not to be identified discussing confidential orders.
In September, China officials denied reports that it had banned iPhones from being inside any government agency. At the same time, however, officials expressed concern about “a lot of media exposure of security incidents related to Apple’s phones.” The US government called the iPhone ban in China an “inappropriate retaliation.”
As Bloomberg points out, there are still a lot of unknown details about the extent of the iPhone ban in China and how strictly it is being enforced. Still, the ban presents a “major challenge” for Apple and other foreign technology companies like Samsung.
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