Out of 100 Chinese iPhone users, 95 would switch brands rather than lose WeChat
Shanghai Commodities trader Vincent Han was planning on replacing his Huawei handset with an iPhone. But these plans have been changed because of the possible WeChat ban. Han said, “I’m worried that WeChat will be banned on the iPhone. This will affect my work to a large extent, as 90% of my clients and colleagues communicate via WeChat. Still, even Samsung’s Android operating system is developed by Google and I’m concerned the Android platform will also bar WeChat.”
WeChat parent Tencent believes that Trump’s executive order will apply to WeChat in the U.S.only. As a result, the Chinese version of WeChat, Weixin, will remain available in the App Store. If this is the case, iPhone sales might not be as negatively impacted as originally thought. Still, on China’s Weibo microblogging site, 1.2 million people were surveyed and asked to choose between WeChat and their iPhone. 95% of those who responded said that they would rather give up their iPhone than lose WeChat.
Apple started shipping the iPhone in China back in 2009 and since then, it has delivered 210 million units in the country. As of June, 20% of Chinese smartphone owners were using an iPhone compared to the 26% sporting a Huawei handset. China remains the world’s largest smartphone market and as such, it is still an important region for Apple. During the last fiscal year, Greater China contributed 17% of Apple’s total revenue or $43.7 billion. At its high-point, Greater China made up one out of every $4 spent on an Apple product or service.
If Apple is forced to stop offering WeChat, there are other Asian-based companies waiting in the wings including Xiaomi, Oppo, and Vivo.
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