MacBook and iPad have been dropped from a list of products that the Chinese government can consider procuring for use, Cnet reported Wednesday, citing “government officials familiar with the matter.”
Particularly, the iPad Mini, iPad, MacBook Pro and MacBook Air were listed for procurement by the Chinese government in June, although they were later excluded from the list in July for security reasons.
Those restricted from purchasing the gadgets include the government ministries, Communist Party departments and all local governments, Cnet says.
“When the government stops the procurement of products, it sends a signal to corporates and semi-government bodies,” Mark Po, a Hong Kong analyst told Bloomberg. “The Chinese government wants to make sure that overseas companies shouldn’t have too much influence in China.”
A ban in China has potential effects on Apple as the country forms a large bulk of the company’s customer base. According to Bloomberg, China accounted for some 16 per cent of Apple’s overall sales of US$37.4 billion last quarter.
Already, Apple has secured several deals with the three leading mobile carriers in the country to offer iPhone. Fortunately, the iPhone is not listed among the banned gadget, thought it is cited to have been the bone of contention following concerns by a researcher last month that it could collect personal data from users, hence a critical source of security threat to the government. Critically, the Frequent Locations feature found in the iPhone, which can track locations, has been named as an issue in this regard. Apple has however denied the claims.