China could slam door on Apple, says top global risk expert

“Apple may find itself eventually shut out of China, a leading expert on global political risk to corporations said Monday,” Matthew J. Belvedere reports for CNBC. “‘It’s very possible,”‘ Ian Bremmer, founder and president of the Eurasia Group, told CNBC’s Squawk Box, a day before the tech giant was scheduled to release quarterly earnings. ‘I’d be very surprised in five years’ time if we see Apple having the kind of access to the Chinese consumer that they presently enjoy,’ he said.”

“‘I think people misunderstand the nature of the Chinese tech involvement,’ Bremmer said, citing the closures in China earlier this month of Apple’s iBooks Store and iTunes Movies, just about six months after they were launched,” Belvedere reports. “Bremmer said Apple’s overall privacy strategy could further trip up the company in China. ‘We’re [Apple] going to create it so nobody can have access to your data. It’s just in the cloud. That’s antithetical to everywhere the Chinese want to go,’ he said. ‘Either Apple has to change their model, which I don’t think they’re going to do. Or they’re going to have a big problem gaining access to the Chinese consumer.'”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Baseless speculation.

China has a lot more to lose than they have to gain by “slamming the door on Apple.”

China’s increasing censorship hits Apple, but Apple might punch back – April 22, 2016
China shutters Apple’s online book and movie services – April 22, 2016
Apple CEO Tim Cook joins Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights’ board of directors – April 6, 2016


  1. Ya ..slam the door on million of chinese employees which are connected to Apple. …..
    And this comes one day before earnings…
    Man …manipulation has no bounds and limits… Anyone looking at a few bucks will say anything.

    1. Your whistling in the dark. Consumption is only one side of capitalisn. At its core capitalism is competition and given China’s fierce intent it is not unlikely that China begins to favor supporting its national tech industry at the expense of “foreign devils”.

  2. Great speculation, I found this comment especially ironical:

    “Bremmer said Apple’s overall privacy strategy could further trip up the company in China. “We’re [Apple] going to create it so nobody can have access to your data. It’s just in the cloud. That’s antithetical to everywhere the Chinese want to go,” he said.”

    You know you could replace “China” in that paragraph with Apple’s current home nation and it would make just as much sense.

    1. Well, not quite. At least right now, we don’t quite know for sure how it is in America. There is a good half of the population that still believes that privacy deserves protection. Various cases are still testing the current laws on the books with respect to how far that privacy extends, and so far, Apple seems to be winning. It is quite possible that congress may think differently and put laws on books that would erode privacy by requiring the back door. It would then be up to the courts to establish constitutionality of such laws.

      Meanwhile, over in China, there is not much concern for the privacy of the people. The government may wall decide to order Apple to build a back door if they want to sell their devices in China. No amount of protest from Apple would matter in such a case; they would have one of two choices: build a special back door for China, or withdraw from the market completely (and forgo tens of millions of sold iPhones in the country).

      1. Hey Predrag, hope things are going well with you.

        You state that you may not know for sure how it is in one country but I think the general trend is valid for both. The NSA’s mass surveillance as exposed by Snowden shows that one government is sucking up vast quantities of information in response to vague threats in the hope of finding useful intelligence at some point in the future. Then there are the FIB’s demands upon Apple. I suspect China is doing the same, though the approaches might be different.

        When you say that the government may [well] decide to order Apple to build a back door I think that idea applies to both countries and in Apple’s case I agree that they would have one of two choices, either build government back doors or leave the country so to speak.

        Then again, they could build two types of iphones, depending on the country they are selling to.

        Anyway it’s an ongoing issue and I’m sure it will develop as time goes on. I do think this is history in the making.

        A pleasure as usual, enjoy your day.

      2. All the more reason congress must use prudence and educated reason, all the more reason to get rid of the party of NO that will cut their nose to spite their face. Republikkkans must go, they are killinbg the US and the world by proximity.

      3. I have said this on this forum many times before. Broken record, I guess.

        Everyone, DO NOT refer to it as individual privacy. The connotation is not strong enough. It is ‘Individual Security’. A person can be ruined / destroyed by lack of online security; not just exposed to a lack of privacy. Notice that this dialog always pits Government Security against individual privacy. It allows the government proponents to imply that if you have nothing to hide, you shouldn’t care.

        1. This is the first time I’m hearing this.

          And I have to say, this is the best advice I’ve seen, with respect to the American battle with their authorities over the issues of encryption of personal devices.

          Yes, it is indeed about security of person. That is clearly the most effective way to frame this discussion. The right to privacy is a rather abstract one, and in many countries, there are limitations to such right, when public good is considered. Security of person as a concept doesn’t suffer from such relativisation. Nobody anywhere can convincingly argue that you should expect to give up a certain level of personal security, in order to improve security of a larger group.

          Let us hope someone on Apple’s side realises how much stronger this argument becomes when we shift it from privacy to security.

        2. Hey pedro, I’m in agreement with you in fact I made a very similar comment about some article that made one of those “privacy vs. security” statements as if the two were diametrically opposed and mutually exclusive. They aren’t it’s privacy and security, the two are inexorably linked.

          Just an attempt to divide and conquer and control the masses. So you keep repeating the idea, because sometimes that’s what it takes.

  3. Sooner or later, the Chicomms are going to realize their citizens are hooked on certain highly prized & productive items from the West.

    Cut off Apple and the smuggling of Apple items into China will soar along with Internet access workarounds.

    People will win out in the end.

  4. CNBC’s Belvedere and Ian Bremmer should be shot for such baseless speculative FUD.

    Apple spent many years (which this clearing endless hurdles and cultivating approval and ties with the Chinese government. These ties will not evaporate and reverse themselves unless Apple blatantly breaches the inked and double inked agreements that are the foundation of this mutually beneficial and vital relationship, which will never happen because Apple has honor and integrity and too much to lose. The humoungus two way investment is solid and not subject to knee jerk Trump like flip flops or tantrums.

  5. “Apple may find itself eventually shut out of China, a leading expert on global political risk to corporations said Monday,”

    The opposite is more likely. Apple is more likely to eventually be Chinese owned, or moved to China.

    1. Or Saudi Arabia. They are starting a $2 TRILLION fund. This amount of money could buy Apple, Facebook, Microsoft, Google, Ford, GM and still have money left over.

  6. MDN is right: China has the most to lose. Booting Apple out of China would see production move immediately elsewhere along with trade retaliation from the US government and the world trade authority. If this escalates and Europe sides with the US then China’s economy will collapse and the Communist Party will have a very large, very angry, out of work population to contend with.

    It may happen like this – the current leadership is aggressive but unsophisticated. China thinks it should be joint,leader of the world, but they haven’t realised that such a position has to be earned and can’t just be seized.

    The world order is in flux. The end of oil is approaching rapidly, along with the end of coal and gas. Solar is already cheaper than the cost of transmission, and it’s still getting cheaper. Manufacturing is now robotic so cheap labour is unimportant. The scale will change to local, small volume, on-demand manufacturing by robots. China will lose most of its world markets within a decade or two.

    The end of oil will mean the end of conflict in the Middle East, which will revert to being camels and deserts.

    China can either fit in and work with the world or find themselves excluded.

    1. Exactly. China needs the US and Apple. If they move to protect their markets in such a fashion, they will lose out big time. Imagine if all of the US manufacturers that used Chinese factories would pull out of China.

      Interdependency means that China cannot really get Apple out of China without deep consequences.

    1. I’ll take a stab at that question.

      What happened is we elected people to the Gornment. They are notoriously unreliable and tend to form power cliques and caucuses, and wind up pushing the agendas of those who fund their election campaigns, and breaking their campaign promises to voters.

      What we need is robots or something similar that have no ulterior motivations of their own, that can be programmed to serve the interests of the people.

      But then a new Gornment agency must be created to oversee the programmers, lest they plant backdoor code or otherwise subvert the attempt at independent decision-making.

      But then who watches the watchers? — and it’s turtles all the way down.

      It isn’t just Apple that’s doomed. It’s all of civil society — dooming ourselves with our immutable, self-destructive human nature.

    2. Go back to your roots, the answer lies there. Take a look at which side you are at. For example:

      1. At birth was your a country
      a. born out of a love for humanity or
      b. a hatred of others so intense that you warred against them?

      2. When you say that your country is for the people, by the people
      a. that the talk and you walked the walk.
      b. it was just lip service as you. there was sexual repression and racial repression like slave of a certain color.

      3. Here’s a fun exercise you can do at home. For every year since 1776 or whatever make a not if your country was at war or, then divide the total number of years your country has been at war by the total number of years. Gauge your result.

      a. 10-50%: Really peaceful nation.
      b. 50-75%: Likes to get into a brawl or has had some tough times.
      c. 75%+: War mongers, against the people of the world who desire peace.

      Take a good hard look and you’ll see even your original statement “Democratic Gornment is supposed to be for the people, by the people.” should be changed to “Democratic Government was supposed to be for the people, by the people.” because from it never was, not even from its inception. You were slave owners back then, your are torturers now, and you’ve been war mongers from day one. A Demoncracy is a more appropriate description, though the Gorn are a nice touch.

  7. This is what got Apple shut down temporarily……….
    NICE TRY with the typical FUD, Apple is doooomed BS before earnings……………..!!

    Apple’s iTunes Movies and iBooks services were closed down in China last week, less than seven months after they started operations.
    The news came shortly before Ten Years – the controversial independent film which won best picture prize at this month’s Hong Kong Film Awards, despite being banned in China – became available on iTunes in Hong Kong. The dystopian film imagines Hong Kong in 2025 with language police, mini Red Guards, radical protest and social alienation rife.
    China downloaders seeking Hong Kong-set Ten Years get 10 Years, Hollywood rom-com, instead

    Apple wants to restore services “as soon as possible”, the company said in a one paragraph e-mailed statement without providing a time frame. The services were ordered to close by the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television (SAPPRFT), The New York Times reported, citing unidentified people familiar with the matter.

  8. As someone who lives in Vancouver Canada allow me to make a couple of observations.
    First, although most of us are not well informed about Chinese internal politics it seems at first glance that Apple is getting more heartburn from the US government than it is from the Chinese government.Perhaps they have better hackers than the US government that has to hire hackers from Israel to get a look at old iPhones .
    The second observation where I live we have lots of “visitors” from China that stay here for a long time and they seem to love very expensive toys- huge houses and ridiculously expensive cars come to mind- and always paid up front in cash
    I think a lot of these folks are well how can I put this politely rather well connected with the Chinese government and they would probably not like having their iPhones removed. If that happens they will just buy them here and come to think of it every time a new iPhone comes out my local Apple store seems to be full of people who don’t speak English trying to buy 10 iPhones at a time
    It is sad to say but globalization is here to stay and how can I put this politely other than to say apologizing is a national fetish in Canada -but I think the bigger threat to Apple is actually Donald Trump than whomever is pulling the strings in China
    Sorry to our American cousins- we are your biggest trading partner, your premier provider of foreign energy , your oldest true friends and allies in just wars , but this is really one time when you need to look inwards

  9. A lot depends on how soon and how much local companies can start to make a world wide impact along with expanding their home market. It could happen and in that case the Chinese might see it as a fair trade off, but unlikely to be short term as they are still far too reliant on their business.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.