China denies iPhone ban but notes device’s security issues

Simply hours after Apple wrapped up its annual product launch for the hotly anticipated iPhone 15, the Chinese language authorities denied reviews that it had banned officers from utilizing the smartphones — after which famous latest “security incidents” involving the gadgets.

“China has not issued any legislation, regulations or policy documents prohibiting the purchase and use of Apple’s foreign-brand phones. However, we have indeed noticed many recent media reports exposing security incidents related to Apple phones,” Mao Ning, spokesperson for China’s Ministry of International Affairs, mentioned on Wednesday.

Mao didn’t elaborate on whether or not the “incidents” in query had been well-reported latest safety vulnerabilities from out-of-date software program or a doubtlessly extra critical Chinese language authorities concern concerning the security of the gadgets.

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However the imprecise remark is more likely to feed a wave of concern about Apple’s relationship with China, which producers most of its iPhones — and the place, by some estimates, it now sells extra of the telephones than in the USA.

Information final week of a possible iPhone ban for Chinese language authorities staff knocked $200 billion off the corporate’s worth in two days.

In conferences and personal discussion groups, superiors at Chinese language central authorities businesses advised officers to not convey iPhones or different foreign-branded gadgets into work, the Wall Road Journal reported, citing individuals acquainted with the matter.

The reported choice to widen already present restrictions on using foreign-made expertise in some authorities departments comes because the Chinese language Communist Occasion has urged Chinese language expertise giants to maintain tempo with worldwide leaders like Apple.

Beneath the drive to turn into a pacesetter within the applied sciences of the long run is Beijing’s need to be self-sufficient in important applied sciences like microchips, as a result of it sees a tightening chokehold on Chinese language entry by United States and its allies as a grave menace to China’s rise and nationwide safety.

And that politically charged standoff is more and more enjoying out in on a regular basis client expertise as properly.

Earlier this month, whereas Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo was visiting the nation, Chinese language expertise large Huawei launched its newest smartphone with a sophisticated — and reportedly Chinese language-made — chip.

Claims of a sooner-than-expected breakthrough had been hailed in China as proof that U.S. sanctions had failed to carry the corporate again, and native media turned Raimondo into an unwitting model ambassador for the machine.

For some on Chinese language social media, Apple’s annual product launch on Tuesday night in California was one other alternative to reward their dwelling champion.

Throughout a live-stream of the occasion, and below CEO Tim Cook dinner’s publish concerning the iPhone 15 on microblog Weibo, many commented “far, far ahead” — a phrase typically used to point out help for Huawei after the corporate used it 14 instances in a 2020 presentation.

Chinese language memes make U.S. envoy unwitting model ambassador for brand spanking new Huawei cellphone

A Chinese language authorities marketing campaign to query the protection of Apple gadgets could possibly be a critical blow to a relationship with China that the corporate has fastidiously constructed over many years.

The danger of Apples overreliance on Chinese language factories has already been underscored in recent times by employee exoduses in the course of the nation’s unpredictable coronavirus lockdowns and human rights group accusations of suppliers counting on Uyghur compelled labor.

The obvious squeeze on Apple comes as China has more and more cited nationwide safety considerations to analyze or prohibit the operations of international corporations within the nation.

However the Financial Observer, a Chinese language newspaper, raised one other potential — and actually reverse — concern for the Communist Occasion: Its highly effective graft-busters are unable to unlock the iPhones of suspects caught in high chief Xi Jinping’s anti-corruption marketing campaign.

“This is a problem we often encounter,” an unnamed official for the Beijing Self-discipline and Supervision Bureau, a strong graft-fighting company, advised the newspaper. “We have software to unlock other mobile phones without passwords, including some software from Russia. Only Apple phones can’t be unlocked. So this is also a reason officials cannot use Apple phones.”

Pei-Lin Wu in Taipei, Taiwan, contributed to this report.

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