China Bans iPhone Use for Government Officials at Work

BEIJING—China ordered officials at central government agencies not to use Apple’s AAPL 0.13%increase; green up pointing triangle iPhones and other foreign-branded devices for work or bring them into the office, people familiar with the matter said.

In recent weeks, staff were given the instructions by their superiors in workplace chat groups or meetings, the people said. The directive is the latest step in Beijing’s campaign to cut reliance on foreign technology and enhance cybersecurity, and comes amid a campaign to limit flows of sensitive information outside of China’s borders.

The move by Beijing could have a chilling effect for foreign brands in China, including Apple. Apple dominates the high-end smartphone market in the country and counts China as one of its biggest markets, relying on it for about 19% of its overall revenue.

It wasn’t clear how widely the orders were being distributed, but similar messages were communicated to employees at some central government regulators.

China’s State Council Information Office and Apple didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.

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