TAIPEI, Sept 8 (Reuters) – Shares of several major Apple ( AAPL.O ) suppliers fell on Friday after reports that China had widened restrictions on the use of iPhones by government employees, stoking fears about the U.S. company’s sales prospects. Big markets.
Employees of at least three Chinese ministries and government agencies have been told not to use iPhones at work, sources familiar with the matter told Reuters.
Shares in Chinese mobile phone maker Huawei Technologies ( HWT.UL ) also fell on fears that Apple could return as a rival after it launched pre-sales for a new version of its Mate 60 smartphone that uses an advanced chip.
Taiwan’s TSMC ( 2330.TW ), the world’s largest contract chipmaker and a major Apple supplier, fell about 0.7%, outpacing a about 0.3% drop in the benchmark index ( .TWII ).
Shares of ASE Technology Holding Co Ltd ( 3711.TW ), one of the world’s largest semiconductor testing and packaging companies, fell more than 2%, while camera lens maker Largan Precision Co Ltd ( 3008.TW ) fell more than 3%.
China could expand its restrictions on the use of iPhones by officials, said Alan Huang, managing director of Mega International Investment Services Corp. in Taipei.
“Chinese nationalism has become problematic in recent years, influencing policy direction,” he said.
Huawei’s new smartphones will also do well, Huang added, pressuring sales of the new iPhone 15, which is slated to launch on Tuesday.
In China, Luxshare Precision Industries ( 002475.SZ ), a maker of connector cables for iPhones and MacBooks and AirPods, fell 1.5%. Its shares were also hit by Huawei’s launch last week.
Japanese chip equipment maker Tokyo Electron ( 8035.T ) fell 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 emphasized Apple’s longstanding ties to the country.
Semiconductor shares (.CSIH30184) rose 0.8% last week after the launch of Huawei’s Mate 60 Pro+ smartphone, boosted by a view that its new chip showed the company had overcome U.S. sanctions.
Sunlour Pigment Co ( 301036.SZ ) rose 20% and Shenzhen Rongda Photosensitive & Technology Co ( 300576.SZ ) led the gains with a rise of nearly 10%, while Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp ( SMIC ) added 0.7%.
Reporting by Ben Blanchard and Jeanie Cao; Additional reporting by Brenda Ko and Jason Xu in Shanghai and Sam Nussey in Tokyo; Editing by Clarence Fernandez
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