China has prohibited officials at major government organizations from using Apple's iPhones or other foreign-branded technology for work in an effort to lessen reliance on foreign technologies and promote indigenous alternatives.
Although the prohibition appears to have been put into effect recently, it is unclear how broadly it is being followed. It comes before an Apple event the following week, which analysts predict will focus on the introduction of a new range of iPhones.
For more than ten years, China has worked to lessen its reliance on imported technologies. To lessen dependency on foreign markets and technology, its executives advocated a so-called "dual circulation" growth strategy in 2020.
The latest restriction by China mirrors similar bans taken in the United States against Chinese smartphone maker Huawei Technologies and short video platform TikTok. China is one of Apple's biggest markets and generates nearly one-fifth of its revenue.
The ban could trigger concern among foreign companies operating in China as Sino-US tensions escalate. Washington works with allies to block China's access to vital equipment needed to keep its chip industry competitive, and Beijing restricts shipments from prominent US firms.
US Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo said US companies had complained to her that China had become "uninvestable", pointing to fines, raids, and other actions that have made it risky to do business in the world's second-largest economy.
It is unclear how the ban will be enforced or what the consequences will be for officials who violate it. However, it is a sign of China's increasing willingness to restrict the use of foreign technologies.