China extended an existing ban on use of Apple’s iPhones for official business by central government agencies to cover employees of local authorities and state-owned companies, Nikkei Asia reported, the latest move in an ongoing tech war between the country and the US.

The claims came a day after The Wall Street Journal reported the use of non-locally branded devices for official business had been banned in central Chinese government departments, with employees ordered not to bring them into the office.

Although Apple has caught the majority of the international headlines related to the policy and suffered a drop in its share price attributed to it, Nikkei Asia noted the policy is also applied to other non-Chinese branded smartphones.

It also claimed some restrictions had been in place for central government agencies since 2020.

The rumours come as various US restrictions on Chinese technology vendors including Huawei continue and as China advances an apparent technology self-sufficiency drive.

Earlier this week, the country was reported to be on the verge of launching a $40 billion fund to boost existing efforts to fuel its local chip industry.

China has become a key market for iPhone sales in recent years, with most analyst companies noting the vendor is benefitting from demand for premium-tier models in the country at a time when these models are bucking broader global shipment declines.