Apple shares slide after China government iPhone ban reports

Shares in Apple have fallen for a second day in a row after reports that Chinese government workers have been banned from using iPhones.

The firm’s stock market valuation has fallen by more than 6%, or almost $200bn (£160bn), in the past two days.

China is the technology giant’s third-largest market, accounting for 18% of its total revenue last year.

It is also where most of Apple’s products are manufactured by its biggest supplier Foxconn.

The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported on Wednesday that Beijing had ordered central government agency officials to not bring iPhones into the office or use them for work.

The following day, Bloomberg News reported that the ban may also be imposed on workers at state-owned companies and government-backed agencies.

The instructions not to use iPhones were given to officials by their superiors in recent weeks, sources told the WSJ. Restrictions were also placed on other foreign-branded devices.

iPhones were already banned in some agencies, the paper says, but its sources suggested this had now been widened.

It has not been made clear how widely those instructions were disseminated through Chinese officialdom.

The reports came ahead of the launch of the iPhone 15, which is expected to take place on 12 September.

On Chinese social media some people who said they work for state-owned companies reported being told to stop using Apple devices by the end of September. One joked that they were poor and did not have the money to buy a new phone: “What should I use for work?” they wondered.

China is one of Apple’s biggest markets, and iPhones are produced in the country, though recently Apple has increased production in India.

There has been no official statement from the Chinese government in response to the reports.


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