Little by little, the ?commercial cold war? between United States and China It has escalated to levels that seemed unthinkable for less than two years and with the tech giants caught right at the epicenter of crossfire.
Last week, we talked about the new 25% rate the Trump Government has been charging for new product categories including certain Apple accessories, such as cables and chargers imported from China. We also comment on the possibility that this tax will also extend to iPhones and other major Ma lines in the near future.
Over the weekend, another policy erupted when Google, motivated by a Trump decree, announced that it would close deals with the Huawei and would prevent the Chinese manufacturer from gaining access to its version of Android, Google Play, or system upgrades, thus putting a huge question mark on the growth of the company that launched some of the best smartphones of recent years and was on a solid path to take from Samsung the title of the world's largest smartphone maker.
Recently, another side of this dispute has emerged, as evidenced in a report published by BuzzFeed News: Increasingly, Chinese consumers have expressed anti-American and specifically anti-Apple positions in their social networks and consumer practices themselves. A quick Weibo review (the "Chinese Twitter") shows a flood of users criticizing the actions of the Trump government and encouraging the favoring of local businesses like Huawei over Ma.
One of the posts highlighted by the article summarizes well the feeling that grows among the Chinese:
The functions on Huawei smartphones are as good or even better than iPhones. If we have such good smartphone alternatives, why are we still buying from Apple?
Other users have shared similar opinions, stating, for example, that they are guilty of having iPhones or that they will opt for a Chinese smartphone in the next phone exchange. A suggestion for boycott Apple is often seen in website postings: ?Trump won't let companies negotiate with Huawei, so we're not going to buy Apple. We shouldn't buy any phones that use Qualcomm parts, either. ?
The news, of course, is not encouraging for Apple, which sees yet another negative move in one of its main markets. The company has already cut prices for iPhones in China three times in a row to accelerate handset sales, but tensions between the US and the Great Wall should not contribute anything to a growth prospect on the other side of the world.
It is good to note that this is not the first boycott (or at least attempt) suffered by Ma in China: last December, several companies in the country asked their employees not to buy Apple products, also in support of Huawei. It is not known whether the action was directly responsible for Cupertino's downfall in the Asian country, but this is certainly another piece in a game that is proving increasingly unfavorable to Ma.
Let's see what the next chapters of this story will be.