Chinese companies boycott Apple to support Huawei

By

Apple and TikTok both absent from congressional hearing about tech in China
Apple's run into more problems in China.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

A number of Chinese companies are reportedly boycotting Apple as a show of support for Huawei Technologies.

The Chinese Huawei brand overtook Apple in smartphone shipments this year. Recently, its chief financial officer was arrested in Canada for allegedly violating U.S. sanctions by doing business in Iran.

A report from Nikkei Asia Review gave some examples of some of the anti-Apple boycotts:

“A machinery maker in Shenzhen, where Huawei is based, threatened to confiscate Apple devices from employees and fire those who did not comply. Menpad, a Shenzhen-based tech company, said it would punish employees who buy Apple products. Finally, Shenzhen Yidaheng Technology said it would fine staffers who bought iPhones the equivalent amount of their device, while other companies threaten to withhold bonuses.”

Meanwhile, many Chinese businesses have offered employees subsidies if they buy  Huawei handsets. “Several hundred” businesses across China are apparently carrying out similar programs.

Problems in China

This problem is something I wrote about recently in an article about how the Huawei arrest could wind up hurting Apple. At the very least, I’d expect this news to contribute to more concerns with Apple’s share price.

While targeting Apple may not make a whole lot of sense, its status as one of the American giants means that going after it is, in some ways, symbolic.

This is not the first time Apple has had issues in China. Previously, Apple has been forced to accept the Chinese government’s demands that it run network safety evaluations on all Apple products before they can be imported into the country. It has also seen its products booted off the list of approved state purchases in favor of Chinese-made products. And had to agree to transition iCloud accounts registered in China to state-run Chinese servers.

Earlier this month, a Chinese court banned the sale of several iPhone models in China as part of Apple’s patent battle with Qualcomm.

Will this Apple boycott grow in scale? We’ll have to wait and see. It’s certainly not the kind of festive news that folks in Cupertino likely want to wake up to, however.