businessinsider

After a Chinese state-run TV channel last month described the iPhone as a “national security concern” (a claim Apple denied), Bloomberg reports that the Chinese government has stepped up its war on Apple by removing the company’s products from its procurement lists.

Ten Apple products — including the iPad, iPad Mini, MacBook Air and MacBook Pro — were omitted from a final government procurement list distributed in July, according to officials who read it and asked not to be identified because the information isn’t public. The models were on a June version of the list drafted by the National Development and Reform Commission and Ministry of Finance, the officials said …

The claimed reason for the omission is that Apple has not satisfied the government that its products meet energy-saving requirements, but the effect is that Apple products can no longer be purchased by any government departments in the country, national or local.

Apple was targeted simply by virtue of being a foreign company achieving a great deal of sales success in the country, said Mark Po, an analyst with UOB Kay Hian Ltd.

The Chinese government wants to make sure that overseas companies shouldn’t have too much influence in China.

China is a hugely important market to Apple, with financial data revealing that the country accounted for a full 15 percent of the company’s revenues at the beginning of the year. Apple plans to expand its presence in the country after recently opening the 12th Chinese Apple Store.

Apple is not the only U.S. company to be hit, with Microsoft also in the firing line as the government banned purchases of Windows 8 products.

It’s believed that the U.S. government is the real target, China upset by Edward Snowden’s claim that the NSA was spying on Chinese leaders and suggested that U.S. tech firms were assisting these efforts by allowing access to their data.

(Photo via Reuters/Kim Kyung-Hoon)

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24 Responses to “Chinese government’s war on Apple escalates as it bans govt purchases”

  1. fjose1929 says:

    If apple wants to, they can nip this in the bud. Cook claims fairness, to really prove this and ingratiate themselves with the Chinese people, they should raise all salaries for their retail stores to the same level as the U.S.. Afterall they earn the same if not much more n Chins.

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    • Looks like you like copy and pasting don’t you? You left this exact same comment to the same article over on Apple Insider, and you were called a compete idiot there, and guess what, I’m calling you a complete idiot here.

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  2. George Lacy says:

    And they trust Google?

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  3. I’m sure it all has to do with money. Apple probably is not playing their game.

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  4. China have signed up to the WTO so they cannot outright say: “only Chinese owned and operated businesses can apply for procurement contracts” so instead they’re using the ruse of national security in much the same way that ‘biosecurity’ is used in Australia to keep cheaper produce out of the Australian market. They’ve targeted Apple, Microsoft and I think Samsung – just watch that list get very long with the only ones able to bid will be the usual suspects.

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    • thatsdb says:

      I don’t blame Australia, or Switzerland for keeping suspect money, products, and keeping the land titles in their country secure. What is really ironic is that apple if I’m not mistaken has most of their products built in China. So I expect a Chinese line to come out real soon.

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      • Here is the thing, they’re being used as a non-tariff barrier rather than it being a situation of genuine concern. In the case of China the blocking has little to do with security and more to do with trying to build up local brands via the procurement process. If they had to stick to the rules of the WTO (that they signed up to) they could favour, if they wanted, local brands, but they would be open to being challenged if an outside vendor offered something substantially better and the government still went for the local brand. China signed up to the WTO and there are a set of rules you have to follow – it isn’t perfect but it is supposed to allow greater trade and economic growth by pulling down the usual nonsensical barriers that governments erect to protect inefficient sectors.

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    • Cun Con says:

      If you understand the Chinese enough, you should know they don’t play by rules. They’re afraid to be dominated by US companies and government. The best way that US companies can do to maintain their strength is not to share technologies with the Chinese…Google made this mistake to make Android open source, I hope Tesla not too stupid to share their patents either. Chinese government is only better than North Korea and right there with Russia in term of relationship with US.

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  5. So, they’ve banned Windows 8 and all Macs. I realize there are other OSes out there but….

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  6. John Huynh says:

    The US government probably loves this that China is using more insecure software.

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    • airmanchairman says:

      Remember Symantec and Kaspersky have just recently been booted off the Chinese Government’s list of approved antivirus security software. Only Chinese software vendors remain.

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    • observer1959 says:

      Translation: we are banning the Apple products listed because we are unable to hack into these products to keep an eye on what you are doing and protect you from any wrong doing.

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  7. airmanchairman says:

    This will pan out as a good thing for Apple, as it will separate them as a corporate entity from the US Government, unlike Google and Microsoft, who are seen to be too close to the US Government, and therefore untrustworthy by association. Think of the issue involving (German Chancellor) Angela Merkel’s Blackberry and see where the Chinese Government is coming from, remembering that the Blackberry was the last truly popular handset in corporate and government circles.

    That way, any success Apple achieves in China will by dint of trust and popular appeal alone.

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  8. I’m curious what technology and OS (mobile or otherwise) they can use. Does anyone have a list of Chinese tech companies? Thanks.

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    • airmanchairman says:

      Xiaomi, the “Chinese Apple” handset vendor, is waiting patiently in the wings (alongside Lenovo and Huawei) to fill the void left by Google, Microsoft and Apple.

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  9. mockery17 says:

    If “govt” is considered acceptable in a title, I don’t know what is.

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    • Ben Lovejoy says:

      This appears to be the mechanism by which the government is excluding suppliers – claiming that the companies have not provided proof they meet energy-saving requirements.

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  10. b9bot says:

    Apple has not been banned and you can still buy any of there products. It has not been put on there energy approved plan because Apple did not send the documentation or something. But the banned thing is FUD!

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    • Ben Lovejoy says:

      “Apple did not send the documentation or something” would be one possible interpretation. The government told Chinese companies only what documentation they should submit would be another …

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  11. Sounds like a total shakedown. The Chinese government wants a cut of the American revenue. And they are in the position to dictate to their populous and to American companies vying for access to 1,000,000,000+ customers.

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  12. I think that this is related to political issues between the two countries, Chinese government officials broke the news before being monitored have a great relationship. Chinese government will not easily believe that the so-called “mobile security” because they are afraid of other countries know some things can not be revealed.

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  13. Kind of pathetic isn’t it? U.S. corporations are so addicted to cheap labor the Chinese government gets to smack them around. The Chinese know full well the companies will take it, too.

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