Beijing threatens to boycott Apple as WeChat is banned in the United States

A Beijing spokesperson warned Friday of the possibility of boycotting "Apple" products in China if the Chinese "WeChat" application is banned in the United States, amid mounting tension between the two countries.

US President Donald Trump signed an executive order earlier this month threatening to ban the Chinese app, TikTok, accusing him of spying for Beijing. A similar decree targets the main China platform, WeChat, which is owned by the giant Tencent Group.

"If WeChat (in the US) is banned, there will be no reason for the Chinese to keep iPhones and Apple products," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said on Twitter.

The Trump administration's executive order threatens to ban any financial transaction by a US entity with WeChat, which could force Apple de facto to remove the app from its App Store platform.

On Friday, reactions were mixed on social media in China.

"I use Apple products, but I love my country, too," wrote a user on the Weibo platform, which is similar to the banned Twitter platform in China.

Another commented, "No matter how good Apple products are, the iPhone is just a phone and can be replaced. But WeChat is different."

The WeChat platform has at least 1.2 billion users. They are mostly Chinese, although the application is available in about twenty languages.

And Apple products are very popular in China, one of the main markets of the American group outside the United States.

The "Apple" group accounted for 8 percent of the Chinese smartphone market in the second quarter, lagging far behind "Huawei", according to "Counterpoint Research" statistics company.

 

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