Apple’s iPad and MacBook computers aren’t excluded from the Chinese government’s procurement list, as Bloomberg News claimed on Wednesday, stated the country’s chief procurement centre, via Reuters Apple didn’t apply to be included on the list in the first place.
The Central Government Procurement Centre, the finance ministry and Apple itself refute earlier claims by Bloomberg News that 10 Apple products, including tablets and laptops — previously part of the procurement list — have been excluded due to security concerns.
In a statement sent to Reuters, the Chinese government can spend public money to purchase Apple products, even though they are not on the energy-saving list.
“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 Thursday evening, a statement closely mirrored by the Central Government Procurement Centre in their own announcement on Friday.
This week, many of the products mentioned were available for purchase on the website, except for a short period late Thursday when sales were temporarily halted; though that had nothing to do with national security, merely a monthly price adjustment.
“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.”
What the speculation concerning Apple products reveals though, is the anxiety among foreign technology firms in China, amid what they may understand as an official campaign to curtail their expansion.