The People’s Republic of China has issued a notice ordering officials at central government agencies to not use Apple’s iPhones. The iPhone ban restricts Chinese government employees from carrying the devices into their workplaces. In addition, employees are banned from using iPhones for work even outside the office.
This year’s September Apple Event, dubbed “Wanderlust,” is scheduled to take place on September 12th. Importantly, China is one of Apple’s biggest markets and generates nearly one-fifth of its revenue. Therefore, this announcement could not have come at a worse time.
Amid rising tensions with the United States, China has been pushing toward self-reliance. After many Chinese firms and industries suffered export controls, China has been looking to reduce tech imports. The export controls came about due to restrictions imposed by the United States. This iPhone ban appears to be Beijing attempting to prune the use of foreign technology.
iPhone Ban not Completely New
For a number of years now, China has been restricting government officials at some agencies from using iPhones for work. The latest directive seeks to loop in more government employees. However, the extent of the ban is currently not clear.
As the state tightens its data security and privacy measures, more regulations controlling digital activities are expected.
The latest restriction by China mirrors similar bans taken in the United States against Chinese smartphone maker Huawei and short video platform TikTok, owned by China’s ByteDance.
Notably, TikTok has complied with EU regulations and has started migrating European users’ data to its first local data centre. The data centre is in Ireland whilst TikTok is in the process of building another data centre in Norway.
In addition, TikTok has also revealed that it has secured the services of a company called the NCC Group. The information assurance firm based in the UK will audit its data controls and protections, monitor its data flows, & provide independent verification.