China’s Upsetting Apple’s Best-Laid Plans

China’s Upsetting Apple’s Best-Laid Plans
Daniel Johnston

6 months ago2 mins

Mentioned in story

What’s going on here?

China’s upsetting Apple’s best-laid plans, just as the firm gears up for a fresh iPhone launch.

What does this mean?

You’d think the imminent release of Apple’s newest iPhone would be the talk of the tech world right now – but Apple’s facing a different kind of buzz thanks to China. There’s been some less-than-hushed chatter that government agencies and state-backed firms are giving iPhones the cold shoulder. And a wave of Chinese nationalism is on the rise too – which might see everyday citizens swapping their iPhones for local brands. It gets worse, though: let’s not forget that Huawei, China’s tech darling, is about to drop a new phone that’s both wallet-friendly and more high-tech by many measures. All in all, then, Apple’s sales could take a dent, and lead the firm to miss holiday forecasts just like it did during its last big Chinese slowdown in 2019.

Apple China slowdown

Why should I care?

For markets: One bad Apple…

Apple’s shares have been on a rollercoaster since the news broke, and not the fun kind: in just two days, the tech giant’s value has shrunk by a whopping $200 billion. And it’s not just Apple feeling the heat. Investors are getting cold feet with other tech stocks too (from chip companies to firms with a big footprint in China), while US-listed Chinese stocks are also on the chopping block.

Apple stock
Source: Google Finance

The bigger picture: Don’t trade off the orchard for an Apple.

While Beijing’s been tight-lipped so far, some think this is China’s way of saying, “Two can play at that game” – hinting at US tech restrictions on chips and brands like Huawei. But let’s not jump the gun. Some Wall Street whizzes believe the Apple panic is a tad overblown. After all, Apple’s not just any old tech titan: it supports millions of workers across the country – and that's a bridge that China’s probably very wary of burning.

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