More than $200bn (£160bn) has been wiped off the value of Apple following reports that China has banned government officials from using iPhones at work.
Apple’s share price dropped more than 3pc on Thursday, marking a second day of sharp falls after the Wall Street Journal reported that Chinese authorities had banned officials from using the company’s smartphones.
The California-headquartered company’s share price has now fallen 7.3pc since Tuesday, wiping more than $200bn from its market value.
Restrictions on using iPhones within the Chinese government follows years of tightening trade sanctions and bans from the United States and its allies, including the UK, on the use of Chinese technology amid national security concerns.
US Representative Mike Gallagher accused China of unfairly punishing Western businesses in an effort to promote local competitors.
He said: “This is textbook Chinese Communist Party (CCP) behaviour - promote PRC national champions in telecommunications, and slowly squeeze Western companies’ market access.
”American tech companies seeking to cosy up to the CCP must realise the clock is ticking,” he told Reuters.
The crackdown threatens to hit Apple’s wider business, which generates 19pc of its annual revenue from China.
Curbs come as global demand for new smartphones slumps. Sales have dropped to their lowest point in a decade as China’s stalling economy has hit consumer spending.
Apple is also facing its longest smartphone sales slump since 2016. The company is hoping to revive demand with the launch of its new iPhone 15 next week.