China denies banning iPhone use in government offices

China Government

China denied banning the use of foreign phones, including Apple iPhones, in its ministries.

China has denied banning the use of foreign phones, including iPhones, in its ministries, following media reports of restrictions in some state administration offices.

“China has not enacted any law, regulation or policy document prohibiting the purchase and use of foreign-brand smartphones, including the iPhone,” Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning said at a briefing.

“We always have an open attitude towards foreign companies,” he added.

These statements do not exclude that oral instructions may have been given, as sometimes happens in China.

“We have seen several press articles about security problems related to the iPhone,” the spokesperson added, without specifying which press articles she was referring to.

Apple shares fell sharply last week following reports that China had imposed restrictions on the use of iPhones in government offices and state entities.

The Wall Street Journal was the first to indicate that China had blocked the use of Apple smartphones in central government offices.

Bloomberg News then reported that China planned to extend the ban to state-supported agencies and public companies.

However, the Chinese ministry spokeswoman said Beijing “treats domestic and foreign companies the same.”

“The Chinese government places great importance on information and cybersecurity,” he added.