More bad news for Apple in China: yet another employer has threatened to fire workers who dare to buy the new iPhone 7. This time that employer is a hospital.
Last week, one employee of a women’s hospital located in Chongqing’s Fuling District posted online about a “strange” new rule that the hospital had implemented recently which banned employees from purchasing the iPhone 7 or iPhone 7plus, threatening that anyone caught buying one could be fired.
According to People’s Daily, in a copy of the internal memo sent to employees, the Chongqing Fuling Xinjiuzhou Women’s Hospital reasoned that the iPhone 7 ban is part of a larger effort to crack down on workers’ “extravagant lifestyles” ahead of National Day. “At a time when the People’s Republic of China celebrates its 67th anniversary, this institution advocates prudence and diligence, wishing to put an end to luxurious and wasteful spending,” the directive reads.
After the memo went viral, officials at the hospital confirmed that they had issued the controversial directive, but conceded that they would not actually enforce the ban, SCMP reports. Adding that the “rule” was really aimed at supporting domestic smartphone brands over pricey foreign competitors.
It seems like every anniversary is now an occasion for a new “patriotic” ban on iPhones. On September 18th, in remembrance of the 85th anniversary of the Mukden Incident, one Henan company announced a policy banning employees from buying the new iPhone 7 and encouraging them instead to purchase domestic smartphones and spend more time with their families.
Ever since the South China Sea ruling in July, Apple has been the target of a number of protests and boycotts by “patriotic” Chinese consumers. Over the summer, iPhones were banned and smashed. One fake Apple store was even surrounded by thousands of overzealous protesters, who shouted “Kick Apple out of China!”