On Wednesday, Bloomberg reported that Chinese government officials could no longer buy certain Apple products with public funds. “amid escalating tensions” between the United States and China over “claims of hacking and cyberspying.”
According to Chinese language publication Caixin (via AppleInsider), Apple products were only excluded from a semi-annual “shopping list” of energy-saving products approved for purchase with public money. Furthermore, “A person familiar with the government's appropriations system said Apple's exclusion is far from a formal ban, as was widely reported yesterday, and may instead be the result of a simple filing error.”
For now, Bloomberg is sticking by its story, which cited anonymous Chinese officials.
They noted that China’s latest procurement list released by the National Development and Reform Commission and Ministry of Finance now excludes the iPad, MacBook Air, and MacBook Pro.Mark Po, an analyst with UOB Kay Hian Ltd. in Hong Kong said that this decision could spill over into the private sector, noting:
When the government stops the procurement of products, it sends a signal to corporates and semi-government bodies. The Chinese government wants to make sure that overseas companies shouldn’t have too much influence in China.
We'll continue to follow this story and update this post as warranted.