China refutes claim of government ban on Apple purchases

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China refutes claim of government ban on Apple purchasesBEIJING (Reuters) – Inc products such as laptops and tablets are not banned from Chinese government procurement lists, according to the country’s chief procurement center, refuting a report claiming was blacklisted on national security concerns.

According to a Bloomberg News report published on Wednesday, 10 products, including MacBook laptops and iPad tablets, were taken off a government list of approved hardware due to security concerns.

The Central Government Procurement Centre, as well as the finance ministry and , said the never applied to be on the list in the first place.

The list created the confusion this week involves energy-saving products, and is just one of a multitude of government procurement lists in . Apple has never been on list, the said in emailed comments on Friday, declining to give more details.

“Even though Apple has the certification for energy-saving products… it has never provided the necessary verification material and agreements according to the regulations,” said a Finance Ministry fax sent to Reuters on evening, a statement closely mirrored by the Central Government Procurement Centre in own announcement on Friday.

The government can still purchase Apple products, even if they are not on the energy-saving list, according to the Central Government Procurement Centre website.

This week, many of the products mentioned were available for purchase on the website, except for a brief period late when sales were temporarily halted for a monthly price adjustment.

Multiple suppliers, who declined to be identified because they did not want to damage business with the government, told Reuters the price adjustments were routine. They said they did not believe the stoppages were due to national security concerns based on conversations with the central procurement agency. [eap_ad_2] “They didn’t once it had anything to do with national security,” said an employee at a Beijing-based government supplier.

The government website resumed selling Apple products including laptops as of Friday afternoon. The most popular model was bought 23 times between and Friday.

“Every month we have one price adjustment to make sure the prices are aligned with market prices,” said a person familiar with the procurement process, who attributed the confusion to a misunderstanding. “We’ll stop purchases and then restart after they’re aligned.”

The uncertainty and speculation surrounding Apple’s procurement status reflects the heightened anxiety among foreign technology firms in amid what they perceive as a multi-pronged, official to curb their business.

Chinese regulators recently launched an anti-monopoly into Microsoft Corp . That came after said in it would ban Microsoft’s Windows 8 operating system citing security concerns.

The central procurement agency also recently delisted foreign anti-virus software vendors Symantec Corp and Kaspersky Lab due to security concerns, according to the state-run Xinhua news agency.

Mutual suspicions between China and the over hacking have escalated over the past year following revelations by Edward Snowden that . intelligence planted “backdoor” surveillance tools on .-made hardware. The . Justice Department, meanwhile, indicted five Chinese military officers in on counts of extensive industrial espionage.[eap_ad_3]