The reported ban on national and local government departments purchasing Apple products was just a misunderstanding, according to statements by the Finance Ministry and Central Government Procurement Centre cited by Reuters.

The statements say that the procurement list referred to by Bloomberg was just one of many, and listed only “energy-saving products.” China claims that Apple products did not make this list despite qualifying because the necessary paperwork had not been completed … 

“Even though Apple has the certification for energy-saving products… it has never provided the necessary verification material and agreements according to the regulations,” said a Finance Ministry fax sent to Reuters on Thursday evening.

Apple products were unavailable for purchase from the procurement website only temporarily due to a “monthly price adjustment,” it was said, and sales of Apple products resumed shortly afterwards.

As with many things involving Chinese authorities, certainty about the real position can be difficult to determine. It seems unlikely that Apple would fail to provide the Chinese authorities with any paperwork they requested, but whether Apple was deliberately omitted when requests were sent out or whether it was an oversight on the part of the procurement agency is something we will in all likelihood never know.

The temporary halt in sales of all Apple equipment does, however, appear to have been routine: Reuters cites several unnamed suppliers as saying that the price adjustments were common.

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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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