USA vs. China: new sanctions could slow down iPhone sales enormously

In recent days, the chat app WeChat has also been in the headlines alongside TikTok. The reason was the same in both cases: a possible ban by the US government. Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo now explains what effects such a ban could have on iPhone sales figures.

As MacRumors reports in reference to the analyst, a ban on the WeChat app from Apple’s App Store could mean a worldwide slump in iPhone sales of 25 to 30 percent. But it could also have an impact on Apple’s other hardware. Here, a ban could result in a minus of 15 to 25 percent.

In his report, however, Kuo distinguishes between two different cases. The above-mentioned figures are the worst case, should the app disappear completely from the iPhone and iPad. Apple could also ban the app, which is extremely popular in China, only in the USA, while it would continue to be available in other regions as before.

The current wording of the sanctions prohibits any transactions between US companies and WeChat or the company behind the chat app, Tencent. However, observers expect these conditions to be adjusted.

US sanctions against WeChat: adjustments of the conditions possible

Should the latter be the case, Apple’s global iPhone deliveries would shrink by only three to six percent. The impact on other products would be less than three percent.

Although Apple has not been publishing concrete sales figures for the iPhone for some time, the Chinese market is extremely important for the California-based company. Last quarter, for example, the share of revenues from China was around 15 percent.

On August 6th, 2020, the Trump government had announced a large-scale attack against TikTok and its parent company ByteDance as well as WeChat and Tencent. However, the new sanctions are currently not expected to take effect until September 20th, 2020. Many details may still change before then. For example, the potential sale of TikTok to Microsoft could have an impact on the US president’s executive orders.

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