As you all know, US President Donald Trump recently signed a new executive order (EO) targeting not one, but two Chinese brands, TikTok and WeChat. And while one of them is preparing to take the Trump administration to court in the US, there is one major US brand already forecasting the repercussions of the EO: Apple.
According to prominent Apple analyst, Ming-Chi Kuo, the Trump administration’s new EO could see Apple’s shipment of iPhone within China take a dive between 25% and 30%. That is a tremendous projected loss for the fruit company, and for several reasons to boot. The first and most obvious reason being the sales figures in China; as it stands, the country’s highly regulated internet policies only allows certain apps to be used within the country, and both WeChat and TikTok are widely used by its citizens.
Further, unlike Google’s Android OS, Apple vehemently forbids iPhone users to download third-party apps that are not available on the App Store. Therefore, forcing Apple to remove either TikTok or WeChat from Apple’s digital app market would very clearly put a dent in the company’s iPhone sales, or rather, it could change how Apple builds and sells its new iPhones and other products. In the future.
In regards to WeChat, it’s important to understand why the removal of this app is fraught with anger not just with users in China, but around the world as well. More than just a messaging app, WeChat is also a multitool of sorts in the country; it is used to hail taxis, catch up with news, and more importantly, it enables its users to make cashless payments wherever the function is supported.
There’s also the issue of retaliation: China has already gone on the record that if the US’ Trump administration were to proceed with the EO, it stands to reason that the Asian economic powerhouse could impose even greater tariffs on US brands. On top of the already existing tariffs that came about with the Trump administration’s first EO against Huawei.