The White House is of the opinion that China’s decision to impose a government ban on the use of iPhone smartphones in certain consumer environments is an attempt in a practical plane to respond to the United States to their measures against Beijing.
The representative of the US National Security Council, John Kirby, last Wednesday, September 13, told reporters that the country’s leadership is watching with concern the decisions of the Chinese government. He also called the restrictive practice against Apple smartphones one of the types of aggressive and inappropriate retaliatory measures that have ever been recorded by Beijing.
Separately, John Kirby clarified that at present the US authorities do not have accurate information about the content of China’s activities in the field of restrictions policy, which extends to the technology sector. He also said that the leadership of the United States would urge Beijing to be more transparent in its measures. At the same time, the representative of the National Security Council did not specify under what conditions this call will be officially designated in the public space.
In September, the media reported on Beijing’s intention to impose a ban on the use of smartphones by the American technology giant for state-owned companies and agencies that are somehow connected with the authorities. This potential limitation can become a very serious problem for Apple, since in this case the scale of the company’s capabilities in a large foreign market is narrowing, and besides, the company’s global production base is located in this state. Several Chinese agencies have already informed employees that they should not take iPhones with them to work.
But the ban, which is being actively discussed in the information space, provoked a drop in the value of Apple shares and has already caused huge queues at Huawei stores in China, but has not been confirmed at the official level. Last Wednesday, September 13, Beijing announced the absence of laws and regulations restricting the use of smartphones of the technology giant. The corresponding comment was given by the press secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Mao Ning. At the same time, Chinese authorities have reported concerns about the security of Apple devices.
The media claim that Beijing’s statement should be interpreted as a comment on the total ban on smartphones produced by the tech giant, which objectively does not exist, but the officially designated position of the country’s leadership does not contradict the restriction of iPhone use in the workplace, which is in some sense a partial measure.
Mao Ning noted that the government attaches great importance to security and in this context stated that all companies operating in China must comply with local laws and regulations.
The situation with Apple’s position in the largest Asian market, which is clearly deteriorating, but it is still unclear to what extent, is a reflection of the tension between Beijing and Washington. The United States has restricted the export of chip manufacturing equipment, justifying decision by saying that China can use advanced technology to strengthen its military. In response, Beijing imposed its own supply restrictions and narrowed the space for the American manufacturer of microchips Micron Technology to sell products. Probably, John Kirby, describing China’s decisions regarding the iPhone as a retaliatory step, implied US actions to reduce the level of access of the Asian country to chips and equipment for their production.