Last Updated on: 22nd November 2023, 12:15 pm
Apple’s stock has seen a decline for two consecutive days amidst claims of a Chinese government-imposed ban on iPhones for its employees.
A significant drop of over 6%, which translates to almost $200 billion (£160 billion), was observed in Apple’s stock market valuation within the past 48 hours.
Last year, China emerged as Apple’s third most significant market, generating nearly 18% of its total revenue. Notably, the majority of Apple products are manufactured in China, primarily through its primary supplier, Foxconn.
Recent reports from The Wall Street Journal indicated that Beijing issued directives to central government agency staff prohibiting the use of iPhones at work. Subsequently, Bloomberg News hinted at the potential expansion of this ban, possibly including employees of state-run firms and government-affiliated entities.
This development arises as the tech world anticipates the launch of Apple’s iPhone 15, scheduled for September 12. The Chinese government has not made any official statement addressing these claims.
Despite the current setback, Apple remains the globe’s most valued company in the stock market, boasting an impressive valuation nearing $2.8 trillion.
Several of Apple’s suppliers have also experienced a drop in their share prices. Notably, Qualcomm, a leading smartphone chip supplier, saw a 7% decline on Thursday. Meanwhile, shares of South Korea’s SK Hynix decreased by about 4% on Friday.
Amidst the ongoing strain in U.S.-China relations, this year witnessed the U.S., along with Japan and the Netherlands, curtailing China’s access to specific chip technologies. China responded by limiting exports of two crucial semiconductor materials. They are also reportedly gearing up for a $40 billion fund to bolster its chip-making industry.
During a recent visit by US Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo to Beijing, Chinese tech powerhouse Huawei unexpectedly launched its Mate 60 Pro smartphone. The company also initiated pre-orders for the Pro+ variant.
TechInsights, a research firm based in Canada, identified that the phone incorporates a new 5G Kirin 9000s processor, an innovation by China’s top contract chip manufacturer, SMIC. TechInsights’ Dan Hutcheson lauded the device as evidence of the remarkable strides made by China’s semiconductor sector. Echoing this sentiment, investment firm Jefferies referred to it as a “monumental tech leap for China” in a recent research report.
In related news, US Congressman Mike Gallagher, chairman of the House of Representatives committee focusing on China, urged the Commerce Department to intensify export restrictions on both Huawei and SMIC.