China has assured that it does not prohibit its government ministries from using iPhones from Apple or “other phones from foreign brands” in response to reports in the press about restrictions on certain services.
The Wall Street Journal had reported that some government employees were banned from using iPhones for professional use due to concerns about espionage.
The spokeswoman for the Chinese foreign ministry, Mao Ning, stated that China has not issued any laws, regulations, or directives that prohibit the purchase or use of phones from foreign brands like the iPhone. This comes as the first official response from Beijing on this matter. However, these statements do not rule out the possibility of oral instructions, as is sometimes common in China.
“But recently, we have indeed seen significant media coverage of security incidents related to Apple phones. The Chinese government attaches great importance to information and cyber security and treats domestic and foreign companies equally,” she added.
Such a ban would be a challenge for Apple as China is its largest market outside the United States. Apple established itself in China in 1993, and the Asian giant is the primary manufacturing hub for smartphones, computers, tablets, and electronic equipment for the brand.