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China sanctions US with Apple products ban

Posted: 08 Aug 2014     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:iPad  MacBook  Apple  Edward Snowden 

China decided to strike off 10 Apple products from a final government procurement list released in July due to security concerns, Bloomberg reported.

The products omitted from the list of items that the Chinese government is supposed to purchase using public money include iPad, iPad Mini, MacBook Air, and MacBook Pro, said officials who asked not to be identified because the information is deemed classified. The National Development and Reform Commission and Ministry of Finance drafted the list.

Apple is not the only U.S. technology company banned from purchases by the Chinese government, which stemmed from news that the United States allegedly hacked and spied on Chinese companies.

The procurement agency also excluded antivirus software products from Symantec Corp. and Kaspersky Lab. In addition, a government purchase of energy-efficient computers from Microsoft Corp. was also shelved.

Data compiled by Bloomberg showed that about 16 per cent of Apple's $37.4 billion revenue last quarter came from Greater China. Apple CEO Tim Cook also said last month that iPad sales in China, the world's biggest market, rose by 51 per cent, while Mac sales increased by 39 per cent.

Foreign companies came on the defence mode following last year's revelation by Edward Snowden of a National Security Agency spying programme. Also, the U.S. prosecutors' indictment of five Chinese military officers for allegedly stealing corporate secrets added fuel to the fire.

Officials said that the list takes effect in all central Communist Party departments, government ministries, as well as all local governments, adding that the next review for the list will be in January.

According to these officials, other products included in the list are those from Dell Inc., Hewlett-Packard Co., and Lenovo Group Ltd.

Strained as they are now, the U.S.-China relations may take a turn for the worse because of these exclusions. Add this to the tension created by Chinese territorial disputes with Japan and the Philippines, both allies of the United States.

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