The news of China may boycott iPhone surfaced after the United States President, Donald Trump announced a ban on WeChat in effect from mid-September. Donald Trump also announced a ban on another Chinese-owned application, TikTok. The reasons behind the ban were supposed threats posed by these applications to the national security of the United States. After this news, there have been speculations of China boycotting the iPhone.
China to boycott Apple iPhone
On Friday, China’s foreign ministry spokesperson made it clear that if the United States goes ahead with the ban, Chinese consumers will pursue a ban on all iPhones and all Apple products. Zhao Lijian tweeted, “If WeChat is banned, then there will be no reason why Chinese shall keep iPhone and apple products”. According to reports, many Chinese people have made it clear that they may stop buying iPhones if WeChat is banned in the United States. The Chinese people have accused the United States of systematic economic bullying of non-US companies since WeChat happens to be the most popular Chinese application.
Initially, the United States only announced a ban on WeChat, the news regarding the ban of TikTok has caused further tensions between Beijing and Washington. The tensions have also been cemented by both superpowers engaged in a sparring contest on multiple fronts including the military activity in the South China Sea and Hong Kong. Moreover, much of the United States media still continues to blame China for the onset of coronavirus.
The ban of WeChat will especially invoke hostility in China because it is one of the most popularly used applications in China with more than 1.2 billion active users. If the United States decides to go ahead with the ban, WeChat will be forced to end all its operations in United Stations and no Americans will be able to engage in business with WeChat. Moreover, if Apple is boycotted in China it will suffer heavy financial losses. According to Counterpoint Research, about eight percent of total Apple smartphone purchases in the second quarter of 2020 was made in China.
The repercussions of the United States potential ban on WeChat
In response to Donald’s Trump ban on WeChat and Tiktok, several major US companies have expressed their concern. Trump’s executive order targeting Chinese owned companies has sparked criticism from several companies such as Apple, Ford, Walmart and Disney. According to a report in The Wall Street Journal, all the above-mentioned companies are said to have taken part in a conference with the White House officials with regards to the economic effects of the ban. Sources report that these companies tried to extensively lay down the repercussions they were to incur in case the United States decided to go ahead with the ban on WeChat.
Even United States-based companies with a more distant relationship to the smartphone industry have expressed concern and worry regarding the ban. If the ban is imposed, these companies will no longer be able to market products or handle transactions on WeChat. An inability to do so would significantly hamper their operations in China and their ability to reach Chinese consumers.