China playing Apple hardball
Apple’s success in China is set to make it a sure target as Trump’s attacks on Beijing over exports continues.
In the quarter to end-June, the company’s sales to the greater China region spiked an impressive 19% to $9.6bn. And in that performance lies Apple’s vulnerability.
State-run paper People's Daily says the company’s Chinese success may provoke nationalist sentiment if Trump's recently adopted protectionist measures hit local businesses hard.
“China is by far the most important overseas market for the US-based Apple, leaving it exposed if Chinese people make it a target of anger and nationalist sentiment,” warns People's Daily.
The publication reports concerns about the imbalances created by Apple’s activities. It states that Chinese firms receive just 1.8% of the total profits created by the iPhone, and while its contribution to job creation is significant, “the company enjoys most of the profits created from its Chinese business”.
People's Daily adds, “It seems US companies doing business in China are the biggest winners from China-US trade. The Chinese market is vital for many top US brands, giving Beijing more leeway to play hardball in the trade conflict.”