More Chinese agencies and state-backed companies across the country have asked their staff to not bring Apple iPhones and other foreign devices to work, Bloomberg News reported Friday, citing people familiar with the matter.

For over a decade, China has been seeking to reduce reliance on foreign technologies, asking state-affiliated firms such as banks to switch to local software and promoting domestic semiconductor chip manufacturing.

Multiple state firms and government departments across at least eight provinces have instructed employees in the past month or two to start carrying local brands, the Bloomberg News report said.

Apple did not immediately respond to Reuters’ request for a comment.

In December, smaller firms and agencies in lower-tier cities from provinces including Zhejiang, Shandong, Liaoning and central Hebei, which houses the world’s largest iPhone factory, issued their own verbal directives, the Bloomberg News report said.

Reuters reported in September that staff in at least three ministries and government bodies were told not to use iPhones at work.

Apple’s shares were marginally down at $196.50 in extended trading.


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