Earlier this week, a Bloomberg report claimed China's National Development and Reform Commission and the Ministry of Finance had prohibited government purchases of Apple hardware. While we acknowledged in our initial report that there was dispute about the reason for Apple's omission from the list, China's Central Government Procurement Centre, the finance ministry, and Apple have all come forward to officially refute the Bloomberg report (via Reuters). According to the official statements, Apple never intended to be on the procurement list in question.
At the center of this controversy is a procurement list for energy-saving products and is one of several similar lists issued by the government. Chinese government officials said Apple has not submitted the necessary paperwork for inclusion on this energy-saving products list. Apple also confirmed in an emailed comment that it has never been on that particular 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.
Government agencies reportedly are still free to purchase Apple products even though they don't appear on this energy-saving list. Most of the products included in the supposed ban still appear on the Central Government Procurement Centre website, though they were offline temporarily this week for a routine price adjustment.
China is a growing area of opportunity for Apple with the company expanding its retail presence rapidly in the country. Apple now has eleven retail stores in the country and has partnered with China's three major wireless carriers, including China Mobile, which is the world's largest carrier by subscriber numbers.
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