Apple Products Banned by Chinese Over Security Fears

The Chinese government has removed ten Apple Inc. NASDAQ:AAPL products from its official government procurement list, including the iPad, iPad Mini, Macbook Air and Macbook Pro.

Apple Products Banned by Chinese Over Security Fears

Chinese government labeled Apple’s iPhone as a national security threat

The full list of exclusions has not yet been released, but will presumably include the iPhone too. Last month Chinese state television aired a report which stated that the iPhone continued to collect user location information, even when positioning settings were turned off. This was enough for the iPhone to be branded a threat to national security.

Apple immediately refuted these reports and claimed: “Apple is deeply committed to protecting the privacy of all our customers. Unlike many companies, our business does not depend on collecting large amounts of personal data about our customers.”

Increasing focus on national cyber security

Despite the Apple statement, officials have indicated that the ban is due to security concerns, and applies to all central Party departments, government ministries and local government.

China has stepped up its scrutiny of foreign owned companies in the wake of revelations made by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden concerning the extent of secret US surveillance programs.

Tensions between the US and China concerning cyber security mounted after five Chinese officials were prosecuted for allegedly stealing corporate secrets.

Chinese government restrictions reflect a increasing concern for cyber security in our digitized world.

Growing number of exclusions

It is important to note that Apple has not been singled out. Earlier this week Symantec Corporation (NASDAQ:SYMC) and Kaspersky were also removed from the official procurement list, which Chinese companies now dominate.

The move towards using Chinese national providers began with a ban on the Microsoft Windows 8 operating system, however Dell and HP products are still on the approved list.

Some have claimed that the loss of the government procurement market will not unduly affect business, but Mark Po, a Hong Kong-based analyst, said that “when the government stops the procurement of products, it sends a signal to corporates and semi-government bodies.

“The Chinese government wants to make sure that overseas companies shouldn’t have too much influence in China.”

The next review of the government procurement list is scheduled for January 2015.

Source: Bloomberg



About the Author

Brendan Byrne
While studying economics, Brendan found himself comfortably falling down the rabbit hole of restaurant work, ultimately opening a consulting business and working as a private wine buyer. On a whim, he moved to China, and in his first week following a triumphant pub quiz victory, he found himself bleeding on the floor based on his arrogance. The same man who put him there offered him a job lecturing for the University of Wales in various sister universities throughout the Middle Kingdom. While primarily lecturing in descriptive and comparative statistics, Brendan simultaneously earned an Msc in Banking and International Finance from the University of Wales-Bangor. He's presently doing something he hates, respecting French people. Well, two, his wife and her mother in the lovely town of Antigua, Guatemala. To contact Brendan or give him an exclusive, please contact him at theflask@gmail.com