In Unprecedented Move, China Allegedly Bans iPhone Use for Government Work

As geopolitical tension between the US and China continues to simmer, Beijing appears to be making dramatic moves aimed at foreign technology. According to the Wall Street Journal, the Chinese government has issued orders to its central government agency employees to refrain from using iPhones and other foreign-branded devices in their professional capacities.

The Order Unveiled

Revealed via meetings and workplace discussion groups, the memo instructs staff to avoid using foreign-branded devices for work. However, the precise extent to which this order is being enforced remains ambiguous. Coincidentally, this alleged prohibition comes just as Apple gears up for a major event next week, anticipated to unveil its latest iPhone lineup.

Scope of the Ban

The Wall Street Journal’s report doesn’t mention any other foreign brands affected by this new rule, aside from Apple. In a bid for further clarity, Reuters sought official comment from Apple, as well as China’s State Council Information Office – their responses are pending.

Push Towards Nationalization

China has been progressively minimizing its reliance on foreign technologies over the past decade. As part of this effort, state-affiliated corporations, such as the banking sector, have been encouraged to utilize local software and promote domestic semiconductor chips production.

Dual Circulation Approach and Security Concerns

China’s leaders introduced a “dual circulation” growth model in 2020, aiming to reduce the country’s dependence on foreign markets and technologies amidst data security concerns. In May, with an intent to substantiate technology’s role within national resilience, Beijing pushed large state-owned enterprises to commit to this goal.

Several analysts hint that, in its quest to achieve tech self-reliance, Beijing might not exempt any US companies. The broader impacts of this potential policy shift are yet to be revealed as the world watches on.

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