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China pressures Apple in trade war with US through media commentary

By Jules Wang August 7, 2018, 4:28 pm

A column in Chinese state-run People’s Daily states that Apple should share more of its profits with the government or suffer some consequences if trade relations with the United States continue to stale.

The opinion, written by Hu Weijia, acknowledges that American brands are very popular in China with Apple outperforming expectations with $9.6 billion of sector revenue in the second quarter.

“China is by far the most important overseas market for the US-based Apple,” Hu wrote, “leaving it exposed if Chinese people make it a target of anger and nationalist sentiment.”

The writer suggests that Apple, which relies heavily on Chinese manufacturing to ship more than 200 million iPhones every year among other electronics, should “share its development dividends with the Chinese people.” Hu claims that 1.8 percent of Apple’s Chinese revenue is diverted to contractors.

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Apple and its contractors have also failed to enforce fair labor practices such as recruitment standards, minimum wage and overtime limits, though that’s another story.

People’s Daily figures that kicking Apple out of China would have significant negative impacts for the economy, but the current impasse between President Xi Jinping and US President Donald Trump isn’t going away. Company CEO Tim Cook has had personal involvement in trying to soothe the relationship, but it may be that the world’s first trillion-dollar company will be targeted soon enough.

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