Apple, with the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, has released the sleekest and most powerful devices. Though Apple hasn’t released any firm sales figures, there are several reports suggesting the two devices have gained a lot of popularity already. However, some companies are issuing strong recommendations against buying a new iPhone.

iPhone 7
Photo by Jimmy Benson, Flickr

Apple’s success indigestible to Chinese

Patriotism is a big deal in China. Apple’s success has upset some Chinese companies, which have issued a warning to their employees that they might end up losing their jobs if they buy an iPhone 7, reports BGR. Buying the iPhone 7 would contribute to Apple’s success and hurt local manufacturers, and therefore, the person would be considered unpatriotic.

Buying a smartphone from foreign companies is believed to be unpatriotic by many Chinese companies. They are specifically against Apple in this matter, and hence, the threats to their employees. These threats aren’t to be mistaken as idle threats. Instead, formal warnings in writing have been issued to employees against purchasing an iPhone.

iPhone 7 or appraisal? Choice is yours!!!

The BBC found an example of one such letter on Weibo. The letter is from Nanyang Yongkang Medicine Company and explicitly tells employees that none of them should dare buy Apple’s new iPhone 7 or iPhone 7 Plus. If someone ignores the warning, then the company wants him to come to the office only to hand over his resignation, the letter said.

This is not the only case. China.org reports that an even more strongly-worded warning has been issued to staff at Fuling Xinjiuzhou Gynecology Hospital. Hospital employees have been warned that Apple fans with an iPhone 7 won’t be given a good appraisal and will also miss out on pay increases.

“The administrative office of the hospital has decided not to allow any staff members to buy the iPhone 7 or iPhone 7 plus,” the memo from the hospital read. “Anyone who insists on purchasing one will be removed from candidacy for annual rewards of outstanding performances. And those who could not afford an iPhone 7 cell phone but still bought one will be asked to resign.”

Nothing against Apple?

Both companies said that they had nothing against the iPhone, but rather, it is all about its high price tag. The hospital’s manager told the BBC that it stood for diligence and frugality, and it did not think it was right to borrow money or sell organs to fund the purchase of an iPhone 7.

Apple is having a tough time in China as local smartphone makers have pushed it down to the fifth spot. It has a market share of 7%, down from the more than 9% it had at this time last year. Chinese brands Huawei, Xiaomi, Vivo and Oppo are all leading the market there.

China is an important market for the iPhone maker, and it is doing the best it can to gain market share there. The U.S. firm is making major investments there, including buying a stake in Didi Chuxing, a local ride-sharing platform, and developing a  research and development facility that will be operational by the end of the year.