By: Katie Nelson
Media Production Editor
China has reportedly banned iPhones for local government workers and state-owned companies on Wednesday, Sept. 6. The Chinese government has now forbidden iPhone device usage in the workplace, and Apple’s stocks suffered from this regulation. China is one of Apple’s biggest markets, generating a fifth of its revenue while also having the most factories dedicated to iPhone production. Apple has recently diversified its iPhone production to other countries such as Vietnam and India.
Apple shares initially fell as far as six percent before regaining some value later in the week of Sept. 3. Due to this, the company has lost 200 billion dollars of market value. While the ban is intended only for government related businesses, it still comes as a surprise to many investors, especially because Apple iPhones recently reached an all-time high of 23 percent, meaning that iPhone sales make up 23 percent of the total sales of the smartphone industry in China. People have begun to wonder if this is another step China’s taking to reduce their reliance on foreign technology. This raises concern among business owners if China would be quick to implement bans on other major American companies such as Tesla and Starbucks.
Despite the surprise, many experts argue that the concerns surrounding the ban are overblown. After all, China has been implementing bans on foreign-made technology in government workplaces since 2018. Additionally, the new ban will likely fail to deter government workers from getting iPhones, as the ban pertains only to working hours. In an interview with Mao Ning, a Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson, there has been no ban on iPhones or any other foreign smart devices recently. She explained that China is open to “share the fruits of China’s economic development,” and that the country regards their information and cybersecurity with great importance. Her statement about no new bans highly contradicts news published by the Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg, which implied that there had been a change in China’s legal regulations regarding foreign devices. The situation remains vague as there is still a lack of information regarding the logistics of the ban. Even if the ban has been passed, whether it will have a significant effect on the industry, if any, is something that will need to be determined in the future.
(Sources: Android Authority, CNN, Gizchina, Investopedia, New York Times, The Guardian, The Wall Street Journal)