HONG KONG — People in China are calling for a boycott of Apple products after tensions between China and the US reached new heights following fresh restrictions targeting Chinese telecom giant Huawei.
Declaring a national emergency, President Donald Trump signed an executive order Wednesday that banned US telecom companies from installing foreign equipment that poses a national security threat. A separate order bans Huawei from buying US technology without government approval.
On Weibo, China’s version of Twitter, users reacted to US pressure on Huawei by rejecting Apple products. “The functions in Huawei are comparable to Apple iPhones or even better. We have such a good smartphone alternative, why are we still using Apple?” commented one user.
Despite ongoing US pressure on the Chinese telecom giant — including indictments that accuse the company of stealing trade secrets and allegations that its phones provide a backdoor to the Chinese government for spying — Huawei is not losing support in China.
“I feel guilty watching the trade war. Once I have money I will change my smartphone,” said another user who had typed the message from an iPhone.
“I think Huawei’s branding is amazing, it chops an apple into eight pieces,” said another post, describing the company's spliced, red logo.
Apple’s sales in China were already down 20% in the last quarter of 2018, according to an industry report. Meanwhile smartphone sales for Huawei were up nearly 25% in the same period.
“We did not foresee the magnitude of the economic deceleration, particularly in Greater China,” Apple CEO Tim Cook wrote in a letter to investors in January, who added that much of the company’s revenue shortfall was due to lower sales in the country. Read more