The Chinese government is banning its employees from using iPhones at work. The order was given in August to employees of ministries linked to issues such as investment, trade and international relations, according to the South China Morning Post newspaper, citing five anonymous sources.

The decision was made based on the understanding that it was necessary to eliminate supposed risks to national security caused by the use of smartphones produced by an American company, in this case Apple. Devices from other foreign brands remain released.

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Apparently, it is a type of veto that had already been adopted for years in other public departments and has now been expanded. Employees will have until the end of this month to exchange their iPhones for smartphones from other brands.

The iPhone is the only smartphone that holds a considerable share of the Chinese market: 17.2%, tied with Oppo and slightly behind Vivo, both Chinese brands, according to research institute Counterpoint Research.

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Similar vetoes were imposed by the United States and allied countries on devices of Chinese origin. The Biden administration banned the Huawei and ZTE brands in November 2021, claiming to “protect the American people from national security threats involving telecommunications.”

The Chinese government’s decision, which has not been made public, comes in the context of disputes between Beijing and Washington over trade, technology and espionage. Geopolitical tensions between the two powers also became frequent.

Two years ago, Beijing banned electric car maker Tesla from entering federal administration and military areas, citing fears of espionage, although Tesla has stated that its vehicles are not used for such purposes.

Editing: Thales Schmidt


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