At the time of writing, Apple (AAPL) shares are down 2.92 percent. The stock falls sharply after negative news from China. Several reports have surfaced indicating that the Chinese government wants to restrict iPhones. For example, civil servants are no longer allowed to use iPhones. Whether this will remain the case is unknown. This is reported by the Guardian and the Financial Times, among others.
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China is one of Apple’s largest markets. The country accounts for no less than a fifth of the tech giant’s total revenue. China apparently wants to become more independent of American products and at the same time this campaign is giving a boost to Chinese brands like Huawei.
Apple currently sells 50 million iPhones in China every year. The partial ban could lead to a decline in sales in China of up to 20 percent. If there are further Chinese restrictions, this loss will increase.
Apple shares are currently trading almost 6 percent lower than a week ago. This corresponds to a decline in the overall company value of $200 billion. You can see the current Apple price on eToro.
Is this a bigger plan by China?
The restrictions imposed by the Chinese government on Apple products are in line with a long-standing plan by China to become less dependent on foreign technology. For example, Chinese companies are encouraged to use domestic software and microchips.
Tensions between the US and China are slowly rising and this move by China is therefore not a complete surprise. The US government had previously imposed restrictions on devices from the aforementioned Chinese Huawei. The social media app TikTok, which is owned by a Chinese company, was also affected by restrictions.
The event also comes at a bad time for Apple. Apple’s annual event is scheduled for next week and according to analysts, this event will focus on the new iPhone 15. Not an ideal run-up to the Apple event.