The shares of several major Apple AAPL.O suppliers fell on Friday, following reports that China had widened curbs on use of iPhones by state employees, fanning fears about sales prospects in one of the US company’s biggest markets.
Staff in at least three Chinese ministries and government bodies were told not to use iPhones at work, sources familiar with the matter told Reuters.
Taiwan’s TSMC 2330.TW, the world’s largest contract chipmaker and a major Apple supplier, dropped about 0.7%, outpacing a fall of about 0.3% in the benchmark index .TWII.
Shares of ASE Technology Holding Co Ltd 3711.TW, one of the world’s largest semiconductor testing and packaging firms, fell more than 2%, while camera lens-maker Largan Precision Co Ltd 3008.TW dropped more than 3%.
China could well expand its curbs on officials’ use of iPhones, said Allen Huang, executive director of Mega International Investment Services Corp in Taipei.
“In recent years Chinese nationalism has been causing trouble, influencing policy guidance,” he said.
Chinese mobile phone maker Huawei Technologies’ new smartphones will also do well, pressuring sales of the new iPhone 15, Huang added.
In China, Luxshare Precision Industry 002475.SZ, maker of connector cables for the iPhone and MacBook as well as AirPods, which also owns factories capable of making iPhones, fell 1.5%. Its shares were also hit last week by the Huawei launch.
Japanese chip equipment maker Tokyo Electron 8035.T dropped 4% on Friday.
Nearly a fifth of Apple’s revenue is generated in China, where thousands of workers are employed by the company and its suppliers. During a visit to Beijing in March, Chief Executive Tim Cook stressed Apple‘s long ties with the country.