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Citing security concerns, the Chinese government begins saying no to Apple products

Citing security concerns, the Chinese government begins saying no to Apple products

August 6, 2014
Chinese government officials can no longer buy Apple products with public funds. This news comes one month after China Central Television (CCTV) called Apple’s location-tracking function in iOS a “national security concern.” According to Bloomberg, 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 says 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.
In July, Apple held a 6 percent share of China’s smartphone market, and the Cupertino, California-based company would like to see that number grow. In the most recent quarter, 24.8 percent of Apple’s global revenue came from greater China, which includes Hong Kong and Taiwan. Sales over the same period of time climbed 13 percent year over year. Bloomberg notes that China’s move comes “amid escalating tensions” between the United States and China over “claims of hacking and cyberspying.” In recent months, China’s procurement office has also excluded products from Symantec Corp., Kaspersky Lab, and Microsoft over the same concerns. One week ago, Russia asked Apple to hand the government access to source code for iOS and OS X, citing security concerns. The request came a day after the U.S. and Europe announced new sanctions against Russia for its role in Ukraine. China and Russia are key allies. Apple has said that it has never worked with any government agency from any country to spy on its customers. Photo: Reuters

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