China has ordered officials at central government agencies to not use Apple’s iPhones and other foreign-branded devices for work or bring them into the office, the Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday, citing people familiar with the matter. The orders were given by superiors to their staff in recent weeks and it wasn’t clear how widely the orders were being distributed, the WSJ said.
The ban comes ahead of an Apple (AAPL.O) event next week that analysts believe will be about launching a new line of iPhones, and could trigger concern among foreign companies operating in China as Sino-U.S. tensions escalate. The WSJ report did not name other phone makers besides Apple (AAPL.O). Apple and China’s State Council Information Office, which handles media queries on behalf of the Chinese government, did not immediately respond to Reuters’ requests for comment.
For over a decade, China has been seeking to reduce reliance on foreign technologies, asking state affiliated firms such as banks to switch to local software and promoting domestic chip manufacturing.
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