Apple slips lower on report of China government iPhone ban

Apple  (AAPL) - Get Free Report shares moved lower in pre-market trading following a report that said officials in China have banned government employees from using iPhones, or any other foreign-made handsets when performing state business. 

The move, first reported by the Wall Street Journal, comes amid a longer-term effort by Beijing to reduce its reliance on foreign technologies and maintain a tighter grip on security and data protection.

Earlier this year, officials asked executives at China's state-owned enterprises make their firms 'pillars' in this effort by increasing investments in research and innovation in order to "maintain national industrial security."

Apple, which will launch its next-generation iPhones next week at its annual product event in Cupertino, has remained heavily-reliant on China for its overall revenues. Apple said China sales rose 1.1% from last year over the three months ending in June to around $15.76 billion, a tally that represented around a fifth of its overall total.

"On a geographic basis, we’ve had great performance for iPhone in emerging markets. We set June quarter records in many of the emerging markets," CFO Luca Maestri told investors on a conference call last month. "We grew in total double digits. And the performance was strong across the board in emerging markets from China, where our performance improved from minus 3% to plus 8% in the June quarter and we grew double digits in constant currency."

Apple shares were marked 0.76% lower in pre-market trading to indicate an opening bell price of $188.27 each. 

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