In the last two days, the company’s stock market worth has decreased by more than 6%, or almost $200 billion (£160 billion).
It is possible that the Chinese government is taking some steps to make it more difficult for Apple to operate in China. This could be a way for the Chinese government to show its support for Huawei. However, it is also possible that the Chinese government is simply trying to regulate the tech industry in China.
The third-largest market for the IT giant is China, which contributed 18% of its overall sales in 2016.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated Wednesday that there was no truth to the rumor that some government institutions and companies, as well as State owned undertakings, were telling employees not to use their iPhones at work.
“We have always been open to foreign companies and welcome them to seize the opportunities and share the fruits of China’s economic development,” Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson Mao Ning told a regular media briefing in Beijing.
She added that China has noticed “many media reports on the security incidents of Apple’s iPhone,” and that the country “attaches great importance to information and cyber security.”
The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported on Wednesday that Beijing had ordered central government agency officials to not bring iPhones into the office or use them for work.
The following day, Bloomberg News reported that the ban may also be imposed on workers at state-owned companies and government-backed agencies.
The newest iPhone 15 from Apple was introduced on Tuesday, just after Chinese rival Huawei unveiled a new 5G phone. For the remainder of 2019, the US government has prohibited American businesses from providing Huawei with any software or equipment. Additionally, due to alleged worries about national security, the government has prohibited foreign chipmakers from working with Huawei.
The relationship between China and Apple is complex. Apple relies heavily on China for its manufacturing and its supply chain. China also relies on Apple for jobs and economic growth.
It is unlikely that either country would want to damage this relationship by banning Apple products. However, it is possible that the relationship could become more strained in the future, as China tries to become more self-sufficient in the tech industry.