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Apple shares fall on reports of China iPhones restrictions

Apple shares fell sharply for a second straight session Thursday following reports of significant Chinese restrictions on iPhones at government offices and state-backed entities.

Shares of the world’s biggest publicly-traded company were down 2.8 percent at $177.79 in late morning trading.

Shares fell 3.6 percent on Wednesday after a Wall Street Journal report that China barred the use of Apple smartphones in central government agencies.

That was followed Thursday by a Bloomberg News story that China planned to expand the ban to government-backed agencies and state companies, broadening the effect of the policy in a centrally-planned economy.

Apple and Chinese officials have not responded to requests for comment from AFP.

The move comes amid intensifying tensions between Beijing and Washington.

The Bloomberg story said a release last week of a Huawei smartphone employing a made-in-China processor was hailed in Chinese state media as a “triumph” in the wake of US sanctions.

Apple reported $15.8 billion in revenues from China in the most recent quarter, nearly 20 percent of total revenues. Executives pointed to the uptick in China sales in a period when overall sales fell.

Briefing.com analyst Patrick O’Hare said the Apple situation has implications for other tech companies.

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