A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman warned on Friday that Chinese consumers could boycott Apple if the United States (US) bans WeChat, a popular Chinese social networking site.
This information was mentioned in a report of Jakarta Post that quoted AFP on Saturday.
The report said, US President Donald Trump announced the United States would ban Chinese-owned WeChat and TikTok from mid-September. Trump accused the apps of being a threat to national security. Since then, tensions between Beijing and Washington have spread.
“If WeChat is banned, there can be no reason for Chinese to use the iPhone and Apple products,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian tweeted yesterday.
Chinese social media users have reacted mixedly to Zhao’s remarks.
“I use Apple,” said one Chinese national on Twitter. However, I also love my country.”
Another Chinese national said, “No matter how good Apple is, it’s just a phone. So Apple can be changed, but WeChat is different.”
“If WeChat is closed, modern Chinese will lose their identity, especially traders,” he added.
WeChat is known as Weizin in mainland China and has more than 1.2 million active users.
If Trump’s executive order against WeChat goes into effect, the platform will have to wrap up all its activities in US, along with a ban on trade for US citizens.
According to Counterpoint Research, Apple dominated the Chinese smartphone market by eight percent in the second quarter of 2020. And it is much less than the Chinese brand Huawei.