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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Ben Lovejoy

Ben Lovejoy is a British technology writer and EU Editor for 9to5Mac. He’s known for his op-eds and diary pieces, exploring his experience of Apple products over time, for a more rounded review. He also writes fiction, with two technothriller novels, a couple of SF shorts and a rom-com!

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