China expands iPhone ban, Apple drops $297 billion in market value

Apple China
(Image credit: Future)

Just days before Apple's iPhone 15 announcement, it has emerged that China has expanded its ban on iPhones – rocking the American company's market value. 

The launch of the iPhone 15 family next week, on September 12, is the biggest event on the Apple calendar. However, with the greater Chinese territory (also comprising Taiwan and Hong Kong) accounting for 20% of sales between April and June, Apple's market capitalization has plunged by $297 billion. 

• These are the best iPhones for photography

That's according to Nikkei Asia, which notes that the expanded ban now also includes Apple Watches and AirPods. 

"China's restrictions on the use of iPhones by central government employees are expanding to local governments and state-owned companies, Nikkei has learned," says the report

"Central ministries and agencies have restricted the use of foreign-brand products in official business since around 2020. Such curbs have since been expanded to employees of local governments, including prefectures, and cities, and state-owned enterprises since around August this year, sources, including a government employee, told Nikkei."

The article notes that most people working in state-owned companies have two phones – a Huawei phone for business and an iPhone for their own use. The fear is, with the US-China trade war showing no signs of abating, that the Apple ban will sooner or later spread to personal users as well.

"Many government employees already have two iPhones and Chinese-branded products, but if the [Communist] Party's guidance spreads to private companies and individuals, the impact on sales will be inevitable," an analyst told Nikkei Asia.

There has been a huge clampdown on the use of Chinese technology in the West, with the US famously blacklisting Huawei and Xiaomi phones as well as banning TikTok on its own governmental devices. Newton's Third Law, perhaps?

(Image credit: Apple)

Looking for Apple alternatives? Check out the best Samsung phones, the best Xiaomi phones, the best budget camera phones and the best burner phones

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James Artaius

The editor of Digital Camera World, James has 21 years experience as a journalist and started working in the photographic industry in 2014 (as an assistant to Damian McGillicuddy, who succeeded David Bailey as Principal Photographer for Olympus). In this time he shot for clients like Aston Martin Racing, Elinchrom and L'Oréal, in addition to shooting campaigns and product testing for Olympus, and providing training for professionals. This has led him to being a go-to expert for camera and lens reviews, photo and lighting tutorials, as well as industry news, rumors and analysis for publications like Digital Camera MagazinePhotoPlus: The Canon MagazineN-Photo: The Nikon MagazineDigital Photographer and Professional Imagemaker, as well as hosting workshops and talks at The Photography Show. He also serves as a judge for the Red Bull Illume Photo Contest. An Olympus and Canon shooter, he has a wealth of knowledge on cameras of all makes – and a fondness for vintage lenses and instant cameras.