China expands iPhone ban, Apple drops $190 billion in market value

 Apple China
Apple China

Just days before Apple's iPhone 15 announcement, it has emerged that China has expanded its ban on iPhones – rocking the American company's market value.

The launch of the iPhone 15 family next week, on September 12, is the biggest event on the Apple calendar. However, with the greater Chinese territory (also comprising Taiwan and Hong Kong) accounting for 20% of sales between April and June, Apple's market capitalization has plunged by $190 billion (approximately £152 billion).

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That's according to Nikkei Asia, which notes that the expanded ban now also includes Apple Watches and AirPods.

"China's restrictions on the use of iPhones by central government employees are expanding to local governments and state-owned companies, Nikkei has learned," says the report.

"Central ministries and agencies have restricted the use of foreign-brand products in official business since around 2020. Such curbs have since been expanded to employees of local governments, including prefectures, and cities, and state-owned enterprises since around August this year, sources, including a government employee, told Nikkei."

The article notes that most people working in state-owned companies have two phones – a Huawei phone for business and an iPhone for their own use. The fear is, with the US-China trade war showing no signs of abating, that the Apple ban will sooner or later spread to personal users as well.

"Many government employees already have two iPhones and Chinese-branded products, but if the [Communist] Party's guidance spreads to private companies and individuals, the impact on sales will be inevitable," an analyst told Nikkei Asia.

There has been a huge clampdown on the use of Chinese technology in the West, with the US famously blacklisting Huawei and Xiaomi phones as well as banning TikTok on its own governmental devices. Newton's Third Law, perhaps?

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