China Bans iPhone for Officials, Decoupling Risks Deepen

Tiffany Meier
By Tiffany Meier
September 8, 2023China in Focus

A 20-year history of trade is on the rocks as Washington and Beijing face off amid concerns and calls to “decouple.” Two of China’s latest moves are making waves, and one of them sent Apple shares tumbling more than 5 percent Thursday morning.

This happened after news outlets reported that the Chinese Communist Party is partially banning the iPhone in China—meaning staff members of Chinese state agencies will be barred from using the devices for work. Sources told NTD the order had quietly been in play in certain regions, but is now taking effect nationwide. Even workers in some state-owned companies have gotten the notice.

As an alternative, Beijing is pushing staffers to use phones made by Chinese tech giant Huawei. It’s led some workers to keep two phones—an Apple iPhone for private use, and a Huawei phone for work purposes.

But Apple isn’t alone on China’s chopping block this week. An internal notice from the city of Wuhan is putting electric car maker Tesla in the spotlight. The city’s security department reportedly told local railway authorities to block Tesla cars from entering train maintenance areas.

The order also extends that rule to all wholly foreign-owned companies, citing security concerns. It’s set to take effect Friday.


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