iPhone ban expands in China, state-backed companies ask staff to ditch Apple devices: Report

Several Chinese agencies and state-backed companies across the country have asked their staff not to bring them Apple iPhones and other foreign devices to work, Bloomberg News reported Friday, citing people familiar with the matter.

For over a decade, China has sought to reduce reliance on foreign technologies, asked state-owned firms such as banks to switch to local software and promoted domestic manufacturing of semiconductor chips.

Several state-owned firms and government departments across at least eight provinces have instructed employees in the past month or two to start wearing local brands, the Bloomberg News report said.

Apple did not immediately respond to Reuters’ request for comment.

In December, smaller firms and agencies in lower cities came from provinces including Zhejiang, Shandong, Liaoning and central Hebei, home to the world’s largest iPhone the factory issued their own verbal directives, the Bloomberg News report said.

Reuters reported in September that staff in at least three ministries and government agencies were told not to use iPhones at work.

Apple shares fell marginally to $196.50 in extended trading.

The iPhone maker has also moved production away from China. ONE report earlier this month, the company said it was allocating iPad product development resources to Vietnam.

Apple worked with China’s BYD, a key iPad assembler, to move new product introduction (NPI) resources to Vietnam, the report said, adding that this was the first time the company had moved NPI resources to Vietnam for such a core device .

Technical verification for test production of an iPad model will start around mid-February, and the model will be available in the second half of next year, the report said.

Back in October, Chinese e-commerce platforms including PDD Holdings’ Pinduoduo and Alibaba’s Taobao offered deep discounts on Apple’s latest iPhone 15 series, with some models selling up to CNY 900 ($123 or about Rs. 10,229) below retail price.

Analysts say the iPhone 15 hasn’t sold as well in China as its predecessor. Counterpoint Research said in October that iPhone 15 sales in China fell 4.5 percent compared to the iPhone 14 in the first 17 days after its market launch.

© Thomson Reuters 2023

Apple launched the iPad Pro (2022) and iPad (2022) along with the new Apple TV this week. We discuss the company’s latest products along with our review of the iPhone 14 Pro at Orbital, the Gadgets 360 podcast. Orbital is available at Spotify, Gaana, JioSaavn, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Amazon music and wherever you get your podcasts.
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