Apple Inc. has experienced a second consecutive day of declining stock prices following reports that Chinese government employees are prohibited from using iPhones.
Over the past two days, the tech giant’s market valuation has dipped by more than 6%, equivalent to nearly $200 billion (£160 billion).
China stands as Apple’s third-largest market, constituting 18% of the company’s total revenue in the previous year.
Additionally, China is where the majority of Apple’s products are manufactured, primarily by its largest supplier, Foxconn.
The Wall Street Journal disclosed on Wednesday that Beijing had issued a directive instructing officials within central government agencies not to bring iPhones into their workplaces or use them for professional purposes.
Bloomberg News later reported that this prohibition could extend to employees of state-owned enterprises and government-affiliated institutions.
These revelations coincided with the impending launch of the iPhone 15, anticipated to take place on September 12. The Chinese government has yet to provide an official statement regarding these reports.
Apple boasts the world’s highest stock market valuation, standing at nearly $2.8 trillion. The company had not responded to requests for comment from the BBC at the time of reporting.
Stocks of some of Apple’s suppliers have also experienced declines. Qualcomm, the world’s leading supplier of smartphone chips, saw a drop of more than 7% on Thursday.
Shares in South Korea’s SK Hynix dipped by around 4% on Friday.
These developments come amid ongoing tensions between Washington and Beijing. This year, the United States, alongside its allies Japan and the Netherlands, imposed restrictions on China’s access to certain chip technology.
In retaliation, China restricted exports of two materials crucial to the semiconductor industry.
Additionally, Beijing is reportedly preparing a $40 billion investment fund aimed at bolstering its chip manufacturing sector.
Last week, during a visit to Beijing by US Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo, Chinese tech giant Huawei unexpectedly unveiled its Mate 60 Pro smartphone.
The phone features a new 5G Kirin 9000s processor, developed for Huawei by China’s largest contract chipmaker, SMIC, as confirmed by Canada-based technology research firm TechInsights.
This development was described as a “significant tech breakthrough for China” by investment firm Jefferies.
This week, US Congressman Mike Gallagher, chairman of the House of Representatives committee on China, called for further restrictions on exports to Huawei and SMIC, underscoring the ongoing tech competition between the two superpowers.Email your news TIPS to Editor@kahawatungu.com or WhatsApp +254707482874