China has broadened its ban on the use of iPhones and other US-made devices within more governmental agencies and authorities. This move, as reported by Bloomberg, could significantly impact Apple and Samsung’s reach in one of the world’s largest smartphone markets.
Following the implementation of this ban, employees of various governmental agencies and authorities are now prohibited from bringing their iPhones to work or using them for work-related purposes. Bloomberg highlighted that in at least eight provinces, Chinese governmental authorities and companies have directed employees over the past month to replace their iPhones with locally manufactured phones.
For over a decade, the Chinese government has been encouraging local companies across various sectors to substitute foreign-made tech products with domestically produced alternatives. This includes software systems, smartphones, smart devices, and silicon chips.
According to Bloomberg’s report, in December, small companies in several Chinese provinces, including those in Hubei—a central province known for housing one of the largest iPhone factories globally—issued verbal instructions to employees to stop using iPhones.
Prior reports indicated that at least three ministries and governmental authorities had banned the use of iPhones during official working hours.
Supporting Local Phones
This expansion of the iPhone ban in China is a part of Beijing’s broader initiative to support local products, enhance the sales of domestic tech companies, and advance its strategies in various tech market sectors.
Recently, the Chinese company Huawei dealt a significant blow to Apple’s iPhone 15 series by releasing the Mate 60 Pro and Mate 60 Pro Plus phones. These phones feature the revolutionary Kirin 9000s processor, surpassing the technological advancements that the United States believed it had curtailed in China’s chip-making capabilities. This development has reportedly caused concern in Washington.
Huawei’s Mate 60 Pro phones saw a surge in sales, increasing by 83% in October. This success is attributed to the phones’ advanced performance powered by the new processor, the artificial intelligence capabilities of the latest HarmonyOS operating system, and intensive media campaigns by Beijing promoting the “Made in China” ethos.
Bloomberg’s earlier report noted a 6% decline in iPhone 15 sales in China during October, further indicating the impact of these developments on Apple’s market presence in the region.