Apple may be facing ‘informal boycott’ in China, says Bank of America Merrill Lynch

“Chinese consumers may be staging an ‘informal boycott’ of U.S. products that is hitting Apple Inc. iPhones, according to analysts at Bank of America Merrill Lynch,” Malcolm Scott reports for Bloomberg. “‘According to a survey conducted by our colleagues in equity research, consumers in China and India are showing less interest in upgrading to an iPhone and more interest in upgrading to Xiaomi and Samsung,’ Bank of America Merrill Lynch economists Ethan Harris and Aditya Bhave wrote in a recent note. ‘Apple sales may also suffer from a general redirection of Chinese demand away from U.S. products.'”

“The economists note there are a bunch of industry-specific factors and competitive reasons behind the downbeat forecast by Apple which may limit its value as an indicator on the health of the Chinese economy,” Scott reports. “Still Apple’s high profile and increasing talk about technology in the trade tensions, could make the American company a victim.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: No pain, no gain.

“Investors fretted that the weakness in China could lead to boycotts of Apple products, a claim [Apple CEO Tim] Cook has disputed as anecdotal,” Elizabeth Gurdus reports for TheStreet.

I’m cognizant that in both the U.S. and China, there have been cases where everyone hasn’t benefited, where the benefit hasn’t been balanced. My belief is that one plus one equals three. The pie gets larger, working together. — Apple CEO Tim Cook, March 24, 2018

If you look at our results, our shortfall is over 100% from iPhone and it’s primarily in greater China. And so as we look at what’s going on in China — it’s clear that the economy begins to slow there for the second half. And what I believe to be the case is the trade tensions between the United States and China put additional pressure on their economy… I’ve had obviously many, many discussions [with the Trump administration] over the course of many months to be constructed and to give sort of my perspective on trade and the importance of it to the American economy as well. And I feel like I’m — that I’m being listened to in that respect. And so I’m actually encouraged by what I’ve heard most recently coming from the U.S. and from China and hopefully we’ll see some changes.Apple CEO Tim Cook, January 2, 2019

U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross: Apple’s earnings miss had nothing to do with U.S.-China trade talks – January 7, 2019
Advisor to President Trump: Apple’s sales should pick up when U.S.-China strike trade deal – January 3, 2019


  1. So you boycott a product assembled in your country thereby putting your own people out of work.

    Sounds like shooting yourself in the foot to prove you can make someone dance.

  2. I knew Tim Cook’s complaints about Android smartphones lack of privacy and security would fall on deaf ears. He just doesn’t understand how consumers think. All consumers want is low-cost products and free services. Apple is always going after obscure things that aren’t important to the masses.

    Apple and Foxconn certainly did provide a lot of jobs for Chinese citizens but I guess that no longer matters. POTUS has ruined all of that. POTUS asking Apple to bring the manufacturing of its products back to the U.S. is a death blow for Apple. Apple’s profit margins will collapse and Apple will no longer be a financial powerhouse. Apple products still won’t be competitive in pricing with the foreign-built products and foreign consumers definitely won’t be buying Apple products. At least now Apple has a slight chance if they can find another country to manufacture their products. I suppose this had to happen eventually but Chinese consumers no longer seem to need or want Apple products. I don’t think there’s anything Apple can do about changing the Chinese consumer’s way of thinking. A $200 Android smartphone and WeChat is all the Chinese consumer needs. Tim Cook should realize that much.

    1. I have the same thought every time MDN insults people for wanting “cheap knockoffs” and going on about lack of security etc. in Android and the fact they copied a lot from Apple. Most people don’t give a s*it about that. They want a usable smartphone for a reasonable price. They don’t care if the phone is made of plastic, it doesn’t mean anything. Also nobody cares who copied who or what came first. Do car owners get riled up because the competition’s cars also have round wheels ?
      Also, I’ve heard this a lot: non-Apple users perception and opinion often is that Apple makes cheaply made insecure products. I don’t know where they get this from, maybe all the “gates” over the years fueled this opinion, I don’t know. But the general public is not as tech savvy as the rest of us who read and comment on these sites.
      Apple needs “I’m a Mac I’m a PC” type of memorable marketing again, to get the non-technical folks to “get it”.
      I’m an iPhone: a thief then tries to pick pocket the iPhone and gets “zapped” or something and ends up in jail.
      I’m an Android: a thief tries to pick pocket the Android and gets away with much more, its life savings, bank and social passwords and much more.
      Something like that may get the message across, I think more than a billboard outside CES. Just my 2 cents.

  3. It’s not specifically Apple but growing anti-western sentiments in general, which yes, started long before Trump. From the moment Xi Jinping accepted his post, his goal has been the revitalization of the Communist Party. People were getting a bit loosey-goosey with the encroachment of capitalism and so much western culture.

    Can’t have that. Nope. So he has spawned a new nationalist pride in the people. The presence of the party is being felt again. Foreign businesses and expats are having an increasingly difficult time doing business. Many foreign businesses are shutting down all together and people are leaving the country.

    Apple May be suffering from this, and if it is, it exposes how the iPhone company is vulnerable to mood swings in China’s leadership. Not that this is simply a mood swing.

  4. I am not trying to be inflammatory, but if what you were saying is true, there would have never been an Apple Computer to start with. The reason why I (along with others), use this platform is because “things just work” and I feel Apple has the better OS than other platforms. Although I may buy other things for low cost, my phone (and my computer) is not one of them.

    You can say Tim Cook may be out of touch with the typical Asian Consumer, but that is not Apple’s Target Market, nor has it ever been.

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