China Excludes iPads, MacBooks From Government Procurement List

IPad air

Following a report about iPhone loopholes that have left Chinese officials supposedly exposed, China’s autocratic government has (allegedly) excluded Apple’s iPad and MacBook laptops from the government procurement list, reports Bloomberg.

Officials speaking with the news agency said that ten Apple products — which include, but are not limited to, the iPad, iPad mini, MacBook Air and MacBook Pro — will be excluded from the list of products that can, due, again supposedly, to security concerns be bought with public money. By contrast, the same models were on the list in June.

Apple is the latest U.S. technology company to be excluded from Chinese government purchases amid escalating tensions between the countries over claims of hacking and cyberspying. China’s procurement agency told departments to stop buying antivirus software from Symantec Corp. and Kaspersky Lab, while Microsoft Corp. was shut out of a government purchase of energy-efficient computers.

“When the government stops the procurement of products, it sends a signal to corporates and semi-government bodies,” said Mark Po, an analyst with UOB Kay Hian Ltd. in Hong Kong. “The Chinese government wants to make sure that overseas companies shouldn’t have too much influence in China.”

Such security concerns have made headlines during the past 12 month, especially after Edward Snowden unveiled the NSA’s huge surveillance program. Last month Apple’s iPhone was called a national security threat-as the device has the option to track the location of its users.

At the end of July, the Russian Communication Minister met with Apple representatives to talk about disclosing, as Microsoft does, the source code. This will form the basis of a frictionless collaboration between Apple and the Russian government.

As regards China, the next review of the procurement list is scheduled for January.