China has removed iPads and MacBooks from its procurement lists for government agencies and officials, according to a new report from Bloomberg. The iPad, iPad Mini, MacBook Air, MacBook Pro and other products, totalling ten altogether ,were left off a new procurement list distributed to government organizations in July, after initially appearing in a draft version in June, per the report. The move is just the latest example of China seeking to encourage sourcing of hardware and software from Chinese companies, and it’s being billed as a security move by Chinese authorities.
Apple isn’t the only company to have faced this kind of omission – Microsoft’s Windows 8 was left off in May, and anti-virus software from Symantec and Kaspersky has also been affected by the increased sensitivity to security from the Chinese government, which is involved in escalating cyberwarfare efforts among international interests.
China is increasingly an important market for Apple, and while this could have trickle-down effects in terms of influencing how non-governmental organizations such as corporations set up their policy (especially if they work with government clients), it’s unlikely to affect Apple’s consumer success in China too dramatically. Still, it’s only the latest in a string of anti-Apple moves made by Chinese official sources, including media campaigns by state-sponsored networks that claimed Apple devices posed a serious state security risk earlier this year.
In the past, Apple has been quick to respond to allegations made by Chinese media regarding the fairness of its policies or its security measures, so it’ll be interesting to see if it also mounts some kind of public comment on this latest report.