IPhone sales in China. Trump cocked his head and replied, “what if.”. The reporter continued to ask, “so don’t you care?” Trump replied positively, “I don’t care. My first job is to maintain the security of the United States.”.
last Thursday, U.S. President trump signed two executive orders, banning Chinese Internet companies byte hop and Tencent on the ground that “the Chinese government may collect data from American users through Chinese social applications, thus endangering the national security of the United States.”. The first order requires byte skipping to sell tiktok’s U.S. business by Sept. 15, or prohibit U.S. companies from doing business with byte skipping. The second order forbids us enterprises and individuals from engaging in any wechat business with Tencent after 45 days.
the details of how to block wechat transactions are still uncertain. The detailed rules of blocking will be worked out by the U.S. Department of Commerce, but the right to interpret the ban belongs to the U.S. government. Theoretically, the U.S. government also has the possibility of requiring apple and Google stores to take off wechat, because this is also a broad “deal.”. Although wechat’s business in the United States is not large, and Tencent only receives 2% of its revenue from the U.S. market, wechat is an irreplaceable social application for Chinese in the Chinese market and even in the world.
even if wechat is only banned in the United States, it will lead to a basic break in the social communication between Chinese Americans and China, and return to the former one-to-one SMS phone call era; after all, Weibo is an open social platform focusing on interest sharing. After the announcement of the wechat ban, Chinese Americans are ready to switch to WhatsApp, line, telegram and other IM platforms in case of loss of contact after wechat is blocked.
if the U.S. government puts pressure on apple to take off wechat in China’s application market, most Chinese consumers will choose other mobile phones to continue to use wechat instead of iPhones without wechat. The Chinese market accounts for about 20% of global iPhone sales, according to the estimate of Bloomberg.
Guo Mingzhen, a well-known analyst who studies apple, predicts that if the U.S. government forces apple to take off wechat in global markets including China, global iPhone sales may plummet by 30%; but if the United States only requires apple to take off wechat in the U.S. market, iPhone sales may only decrease by 6%.
this situation is undoubtedly a disaster for apple. After the trough in 2019, the iPhone has finally rebounded in the Chinese market. According to the second quarter statistics of counter point, China’s smartphone sales fell 17% year-on-year in the second quarter, but Apple’s iPhone grew by 32% year-on-year, making it the best smartphone manufacturer in the quarter.
according to US media reports, in this week’s conference call between the White House and US business leaders, US corporate giants such as apple, Ford, Wal Mart, P & G, Disney, Intel and Goldman Sachs have been trying to persuade the White House to give up the plan to ban wechat. They said the ban on wechat related transactions between US companies and Tencent would also cause us corporate giants to suffer losses in China, the world’s second largest economy.
until then, Apple CEO cook and trump have maintained a good personal relationship. Cook not only attended public activities with trump on many occasions, but also met with trump several times with the White House, persuading the latter to grant Apple products exemption when imposing tariffs on Chinese products. This time, however, trump clearly did not want to consider Apple’s interests at all.
there are two and a half months to go before the US general election. Due to the out of control performance in the new crown epidemic prevention and control and domestic social problems, trump has completely lagged behind the candidate Biden in both national and swing state polls. However, at present, the U.S. economy is in a sharp decline, and the domestic unemployment problem is serious, which can not be reversed in the short term, and trump can not do much at present. Playing the law and order card at home and the “China threat” card abroad has become his regular means in recent months.
However, trump may be pretending to remain tough. In the coming more than a month, the US business community still has a lot of room for lobbying to urge the White House to reduce the scope of blocking wechat transactions as much as possible. For example, wechat related transactions are only prohibited in the US market, without affecting the global and Chinese markets. This is in line with Trump’s consistent negotiating position: first, throw out a tough stand of a thorough showdown, force the other party to make key concessions, and finally take a small step back to reach an agreement in his favor.