While an executive order signed by US President Donald Trump will ban TikTok in the US starting in the middle of next month, another executive order from the president bans US companies from trading with the WeChat app, which also starts in the middle of next month. September. As we mentioned last week, this executive order may strike back in the face of the administration as it could severely limit iPhone sales in China. And if Apple is forced to remove WeChat from the App Store, Huawei’s phones (and others – more on that later) will benefit from the absence of the “super-app”
; from the iOS app store.
Out of 100 Chinese iPhone users, 95 would switch brands rather than lose WeChat
You see, WeChat is a must-have app in China with over a billion people using it as a browser, an email app, an app for online shopping and mobile payments and more. A comment published by Bloomberg from Hong Kong resident and iPhone user Kenny Ou summarizes the situation. If Apple is forced to remove WeChat from the App Store, Ou says his iPhone will be turned into “expensive electronic garbage.” This is because, like many iPhone packaging by Chinese consumers, he sees the app as one of the most important software features on his handset. Ou, an engineering student, remarked that he might have a tough decision to make. “All my products are from Apple – my Macbook, iPad, iPhone and even AirPods. Apple has created a robust coupling of their products and made me heavily dependent on their brand. It would be a huge disaster for my studies and work, if such a ban was imposed. “
Most iPhone owners in China would rather drop iPhone than lose WeChat
Shanghai Commodities trader Vincent Han planned to replace his Huawei handset with an iPhone. But these plans have been changed due to the possible WeChat ban. He said: “I’m worried that WeChat will be banned on the iPhone. This will greatly affect my work as 90% of my clients and colleagues communicate via WeChat. Yet even Samsung’s Android operating system is developed by Google and I is concerned that the Android platform will also exclude WeChat. “
It is not only the sales of iPhone in China that can be affected by the removal of WeChat from iPhone. TF International analyst and the man who knows what the Cupertino cafeteria will earn on this date in 2023, Ming-Chi Kuo recently predicted that global sales of the iPhone this year will fall 25% to 30% if Apple is forced to to remove WeChat from its iOS app storefront. Kuo also sees a global drop in sales ranging from 15% to 25% for Apple’s AirPods, iPads and Apple Watch if the Trump administration bans WeChat from the App Store.
WeChat parent Tencent believes Trump’s executive order will apply to WeChat in the United States. As a result, the Chinese version of WeChat, Weixin, remains available in the App Store. If this is the case, iPhone sales may not be as negatively impacted as originally thought. On China’s Weibo microblogging site, 1.2 million people were still surveyed and asked to choose between WeChat and their iPhone. 95% of those who responded said they would rather give up their iPhone than lose WeChat.
Apple began shipping the iPhone in China back in 2009, and since then it has shipped 210 million devices in the country. As of June, 20% of Chinese smartphone owners used an iPhone compared to the 26% who had a Huawei handset. China remains the world’s largest smartphone market, and as such it remains an important region for Apple. Over the past fiscal year, Greater China contributed 17% of Apple’s total revenue, or $ 43.7 billion. At its highest point, Greater China accounted for one in every $ 4 spent on an Apple product or service.
If Apple is forced to stop offering WeChat, there are other Asian companies waiting in the wings, including Xiaomi, Oppo and Vivo.