Apple Banned By China
Chinese Government concern over the growing influence of non-Chinese companies has seen Apple the latest to be banned from purchase by Chinese government departments.
Bloomberg reports there are ten Apple products no longer on the latest draft procurement list, including the iPad, iPad Mini, MacBook Air and MacBook Pro, affecting purchases by all state, federal and local government arms.
The list has not been seen by Bloomberg, with the information coming from Chinese government sources not authorised to speak to the media as the list has not been made public.
Bloomberg says the list “does not include smartphones”, which would indicate government departments are still free to purchase iPhones if they want to.
The Chinese Government has also banned other companies and products from purchase by its various arms, including Internet security products from Symantec and Kaspersky, and Microsoft’s Windows 8/8.1 operating system.
China has also previously banned games consoles, as well as famously banning online services from companies like Google, Facebook, Twitter and others, with homegrown alternatives such as Baidu and Weibo the preferred choice of mainland Chinese citizens.
The news comes at a time when Apple has reported stellar sales in China, but while the ban affects government departments and agencies, the only potential thing stopping the Chinese public from buying as many Apple products as it wants is affordability, as Apple products remain on sale throughout the country.
The development is said to be a continuing shockwave from the Edward Snowden/NSA revelations of US Government cyber spying, although China’s strong military has been accused of exactly the same behaviour.
The news follows Chinese state media reports that the location tracking in Apple’s iPhone was a threat to national security, despite every other brand of smartphone on the market having the same capabilities.
Apple strongly denied the allegations it was involved in any form of cyber spying on behalf of any government, noting that, unlike other companies, its business model did not rely on the harvesting and monetisation of customer information.