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Wednesday, August 06, 2014, 05:58 am PT (08:58 am ET)

China bans government agencies from purchasing Apple products - report

New procurement regulations handed down last month by the Chinese central government will prevent both national and local agencies from considering future purchases of some Apple products with public funds, a Wednesday report said.

Beijing Apple Store


All variants of the iPad and MacBook lines are affected by the ban, according to Bloomberg. Chinese officials familiar with the list told the publication that Apple's products were not excluded until late in the process.

That timing lines up with the appearance of reports on China's dominant state-run broadcaster that suggested the location tracking features in iOS could pose a "national security threat." Apple swiftly denied those accusations.

"Apple is deeply committed to protecting the privacy of all our customers," the company wrote in its response. "Privacy is built into our products and services from the earliest stages of design. We work tirelessly to deliver the most secure hardware and software in the world."

The Chinese government has grown increasingly wary in recent months of the influence that foreign technology companies wield both in the public and private sector, especially following revelations of the wide-ranging spying practices of the NSA and British Intelligence.

Last week, a similar procurement list covering computer security vendors was said to exclude both Symantec and Kaspersky, prominent security firms headquartered in the U.S. and Russia, respectively. Both companies downplayed the importance of that move, however, saying that the ban only applied to specific procurement processes.