Trump's Huawei ban was bad news for China as it effectively paralyzed the world's second largest smartphone maker from its largest source of revenue. But China is also very capable of opposing, and Apple – the world's third-largest smartphone maker – can be among those suffering.
Goldman Sachs analysts estimated a note to investors that Apple could lose 29 percent of the profits if China decided to ban Apple sales in the country to oppose the Huawei ban in the US. 17 percent of Apple's sales come from China, so such a move will undoubtedly be detrimental. Imagine, this is a theoretical scenario, and China has no one to ban Apple without politics as far as we are aware – even if you can say the same about the Huawei ban.
On the other hand, the 29 percent is only an estimate of Apple's loss should the device sale be stopped. Apple products are also built in China.
If the country decided to hamper the phone's production, Apple would face much more difficult immediate consequences. Such a move is likely to be poorly advisable in the long run as "it could have negative implications for China's technical ecosystem as well as for local employment," notes Goldman analysts, but there is a scary opportunity for Cupertino – not to mention the myriad of other American companies that build their products in China. For its part, Apple has considered moving production outside the country due to rising tariffs, but it is much easier said than done.
As consumers, the best we can hope for is that the United States and China make up soon. Otherwise, this commercial war can have a major negative impact on the technology landscape.
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Published May 23, 2019 – 23:43 UTC