Wedbush analyst Dan Ives: ‘The clock has struck midnight in China for Apple’

Apple and China have been tied at the hip for decades, but, despite documented human rights abuses and actual genocide, it took quixotic “Zero COVID” lockdowns which reuslted in widespread violent protests to actually test the relationship.

Apple CEO Tim Cook
Apple CEO Tim Cook

Will Daniel for Yahoo Finance:

“The clock has struck midnight in China for Apple,” Wedbush’s tech analyst Dan Ives wrote in Monday research note. “[T]he zero COVID policy is untenable and has left Cook & Co. with unprecedented iPhone shortages this holiday season.”

Ives said that Apple has a shortage of between 10 million and 15 million iPhones for the “all-important” holiday season because of production issues in China this year, calling the situation “the Grinch that stole Christmas for Apple.”

Apple said in May that it would begin expanding its production capacity outside of China due, at least in part, to strict COVID-19 restrictions that have hampered output at the factories of its main supplier, Foxconn, this year.

But this month, protests over COVID-era lockdowns and working conditions at Foxconn’s “iPhone City” in Zhengzhou, China—where some 300,000 workers produce Apple products—have led Apple to turn even further away from China.

That’s big news, considering Chinese production has been “one of the linchpins to Apple’s historical success,” according to Ives.

“Apple has minimal options to resolve this train wreck of a situation in the near term,” Ives said. But he added that China’s pain will lead to long-term gains for some of its neighbors as Apple transitions to greener manufacturing pastures.

MacDailyNews Take: Genocide, schmenocide — Shhh!

“What can we do to help?” Cook asks the CCP on bended knee. “Limit AirDrop? Remove that Quran app? Erase H&M stores from Apple Maps? Censor flags, books, and songs? You got it!”

But, to have the unmitigated gall to disrupt iPhone production? (Meaning: disrupt executive bonuses?) That’s what opens eyes to supply chain diversification in Apple’s C-Suite.

Apple should work to diversify production so as to not be beholden and utterly dependent upon a single country led by autocratic fools intent on tilting at windmills.

That way, a CEO who likes to oh-so bravely speak of human rights whenever and wherever he’s safe, might actually have some leverage to meaningfully affect human rights abuses in places like CCP-controlled China where they are being trampled daily instead of clamming up meekly like the weak hypocrite he is. (A white rose, Tim Cook is not. We call a spade a spade. Not sorry.) As a bonus, he’d also gain the ability to deliver products to customers, delighting them in a timely fashion.MacDailyNews, April 27, 2022

As we wrote back in 2019:

There exists a dichotomy that screams hypocrisy that is impossible to overlook:

Apple CEO Tim Cook, winner of the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights’ 2015 Ripple of Hope Award for “his lifelong commitment to human rights,” who subsequently took a place on the board Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights the following year, and winner of Newseum’s 2017 Free Expression Award in the Free Speech category, no less also aids and abets China’s commitment to violating human rights with serial regularity.

Two phrases immediately spring to mind:
• Do as I say, not as I do.
• Talking the talk, but not walking the walk.

Accepting awards, plaudits, and board positions for “free speech” and “human rights” while banning publications and protest apps are tough actions to reconcile due to their diametrically opposed nature.

For how long can Tim Cook, and by extension, Apple, get away with positioning themselves as the world’s white knight while kowtowing to every whim of the Chinese authoritarian socialist censors?

This is about leadership, or lack thereof.

Obviously, in recent days, this all seems to be coming to a head, but it’s been building for years.

• Apple removes Quartz news app from App Store in China over Hong Kong coverage – October 10, 2019
• Apple kowtows to China by censoring Taiwan flag emoji – October 7, 2019
• Apple Music censors songs in China that reference Tiananmen massacre, democracy – April 9, 2019
Apple removes VPN apps from China App Store – July 29, 2017
• In bid to improve censorship, China to summon Apple execs to discuss stricter App Store oversight – April 20, 2017
• Apple removes New York Times apps from App Store in China at behest of Chinese government – January 4, 2017

China is critical for Apple in every way from sales to product assembly, so Apple continues to kowtow to China. With Apple’s strong stance – in other places of the world – on users’ rights and privacy, it’s a bad look for the company and a tough tightrope that Tim Cook is trying to walk.MacDailyNews, July 29, 2017

See also:
• Tim Cook firmly latched Apple onto China’s CCP teat. What’s his plan for weaning it off? – November 2, 2022
• Apple CEO Tim Cook signed secret $275+ billion deal with China in 2016 – December 7, 2021
Tim Cook’s Apple is built in China; now it has to answer to the Chinese Communist Party – May 17, 2021

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  1. Sadly, to this Apple user, Tim Cook has destroyed the “Soul” of Apple. What remains is a behemoth WOKE-arrogant corporation which is running out of creative steam. I remember the good old days cheerfully waiting in line for every new iPhone model.

  2. True “operation geniuses” look to where the puck is going. Cook was, apparently, concerned with pleasing the dictator and or, blinded by wealth growth and missed the puck (which has been screaming for years).

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