China Bans Apple Products In Government Procurement List
China has reportedly excluded Apple products from government procurement list. The news emerged as ten Apple products, including iPad, iPad Mini, MacBook Pro and MacBook Air that were on purchase list issued in June by the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), were removed from the July version of the list.
The procurement list includes products that can be bought with public money. The reason behind the ban is security concerns, as told by the government official who didn’t reveal the identity because the information is not public yet. The ban applies to all government ministries and central Party departments.
There have been tensions between China and U.S. recently when U.S. decided to arrest five chinese hackers and blamed them to be stealing corporate secrets. Other similar incident was when Chinese media termed iPhone as ‘national security threat’. They claimed that iPhone collects user’s location data which was in violation of their privacy.
The tension further rose when Edward Snowden revealed U.S. government’s plans about public surveillance in collaboration with different mobile operators across the world.
Since then, China has been removing foreign products from the government procurement list. China urged its government departments to stop buying antivirus software from Symantec Corp and Kaspersky Lab. Microsoft faced a similar fate in China as it was removed from a government purchase of energy-efficient computers. This ban applies on all government agencies and prohibits them from using Microsoft’s latest operating system — Windows 8.
Apple is the latest U.S. based company that has faced the ban in China. Apple generated about 16 percent of $37.4 billion in revenue last quarter from Greater China as reported by Bloomberg. They will be facing a blow in their sales as a result of the ban issued by China.
Note that China is not just targeting U.S. companies. They have also banned some local antivirus brands that include Qihoo 360 Technology Co, Venustech, CAJinchen, Beijing Jiangmin and Rising, as reported by ZDNet. Dell and HP are still on the list as they were in the one issued in June. So apparently the reason behind the bans is security concerns.
China wants to minimize the involvement of foreign companies in its tech industry. Now, they have their own successful mobile manufactures like Xiaomi and OnePlus. Their ban on Windows 8 has motivated the local OS developers to seize this opportunity and develop their own operating system for a fairly large tech industry of China.