The Chinese Government Has Banned Employees From Using Apple Devices (Updated)

Following concerns that Apple products represent a security threat, China's government has chosen to ban its employees from using iPads and MacBooks.

Update 2: Yep, Bloomberg totally got this wrong.

Update: A translation of a Chinese language report by Caixin reveals that this may not be accurate:

"[S]ome media outlets reported that the Chinese government procurement list excludes Apple's iPad, iPad Mini, MacBook Air, and other Apple products.

"Some of the erroneous reports quoted an unnamed official as saying that due to security issues, the Chinese government had 10 models of Apple products removed from the procurement list, saying also that the Chinese government does not intend to buy Apple iPhone 6.

"Those reports are incorrect. On March 28th, the Ministry of Finance, Development and Reform Commission jointly issued the 16th semi-annual energy-saving products in government procurement notification list, Apple failed to enter the Chinese government's shopping list, but the Chinese government has not banned the purchase Apple products, Apple simply failed to proved the necessary information for inclusion into the energy-saving products in government procurement list, industry insiders said."

Bloomberg reports that the Chinese government has removed ten Apple products—including the iPad, iPad Mini, MacBook Air and MacBook Pro—from its procurement list. That means that employees will no longer be able to order the products. The news wire cites "government officials familiar with the matter" who have explained that the decision is based on "security concerns."

It follows a report by a massively influential Chinese state broadcaster, which described the iPhone as a "national security concern" because of its location-tracking functionality. Security concerns or otherwise, it sends a strong and clear message to the U.S.: Western products aren't welcome in China. The news will do little to soothe the ongoing digital tension between American and China. [Bloomberg]