An hour ago
BEIJING: A Beijing spokesperson warned Friday that “Apple” products may be boycotted in China if the Chinese “WeChat” application is banned in the United States, amid mounting tension between the two countries.
US President Donald Trump signed an executive order earlier this month threatening a ban Tik Tok application Chinese accusing him of spying for Beijing. A similar decree targets the main China WeChat platform, which is owned by the giant Tencent Group.
“If WeChat (in the United States) is banned, there will be no reason for the Chinese to keep iPhones and Apple products,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Legian said on Twitter.
The Trump administration’s executive order threatens to ban any financial transaction by a US entity with WeChat, which could force “Apple” de facto to remove the app from its App Store platform.
On Friday, reactions were mixed on social media in China.
One user wrote on the “Weibo” platform, similar to the banned “Twitter” platform in China: “I use Apple products, but I love my country as well.”
Another commented: “No matter how good Apple products are, the iPhone is just a phone that can be replaced. But WeChat is different.
The WeChat platform has at least 1.2 billion users. They are mostly Chinese, although the application is available in about twenty languages.
And Apple products are very popular in China, a major market for the American group outside the United States.
The “Apple” group acquired 8 percent of the Chinese smartphone market in the second quarter, lagging far behind “Huawei”, according to “Counterpoint Research” statistics.