iPhone China Sales Down 30% in Q1 2019

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Apple’s iPhone China sales are down 30% in Q1 2019. Huawei continues to dominate, capturing 34% of China’s smartphone market.

Apple’s performance in China is concerning, given that the worst quarter for iPhone shipments is usually Q2 or Q3, not Q1 when new devices are still fresh. Apple has acted to cut iPhone retail prices, which has largely relieved the pressure from its channel partners.

I wonder how much of iPhone sales in China were impacted by Chinese companies encouraging employees to boycott Apple in favor of Huawei.

This Website Exposes Apple Censorship in China

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A new website called AppleCensorship.com exposes how the company censors apps in China at the behest of the government.

A new website exposes the extent to which Apple cooperates with Chinese government internet censorship, blocking access to Western news sources, information about human rights and religious freedoms, and privacy-enhancing apps that would circumvent the country’s pervasive online surveillance regime.

I’m a fan of Apple, privacy, and Apple’s stance on privacy. That being said I think whenever Apple mentions privacy on its website there should be an asterisk with fine print saying: “We believe privacy is a fundamental human right except in these cases.”

Unicorn Born in China every 3.8 Days in 2018

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97 tech unicorns, companies valued at over $1 billion, were formed in China in 2018. That’s the equivalent of one launching in the country every 3.8 days.. However, Bloomberg News reported that this pace of creation actually slowed down during the fourth quarter of the year. Only 11 unicorns launched in those three months. Instead of startups, large tech firms reasserted their position. The Chinese economic slowdown also contributed to this.

China spawned 97 unicorns last year with a combined valuation of 1.2 trillion yuan ($178 billion) across sectors from consumer internet to online shopping and electric vehicles, according to a report published by consultancy Hurun. That’s about one unicorn born every 3.8 days. But of those, 11 were created in the December quarter, down from more than 30 in the previous three months.

Here's Why iPhone Assembly Doesn't Happen Here

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Apple relies on China for a huge part of its manufacturing needs. But why can’t the company bring it back to the United States? Custom screws.

The challenges in Texas illustrate problems that Apple would face if it tried to move a significant amount of manufacturing out of China. Apple has found that no country — and certainly not the United States — can match China’s combination of scale, skills, infrastructure and cost.

Manufacturing and cheap labor are the reasons why Apple and other companies go to China. The GOP can talk about bringing jobs like that back, but it’s not an easy problem to solve.

Chinese Think-Tank Blasts Apple's Taiwan and Hong Kong References

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A Chinese think-tank criticized Apple, Amazon and a number of other firms for the way they reference Taiwan and Hong Kong, Reuters reported. Tawain is considered a wayward-province by China. Hong Kong was returned to China by the British in 1997 and is a semi-autonomous region. Apple is amongst a number of firms that refers to both Hong Kong and Tawain as separate from mainland China, something the Chinese government has been trying to crack down on recently.

China last year ramped up pressure on foreign companies including Marriott International and Qantas for referring to Taiwan and Hong Kong as separate from China in drop down menus or other material. The report was co-written by [Chinese Academy of Social Sciences] CASS and the Internet Development Research Institution of Peking University. An official at the Internet Development Research Institution told Reuters that it had not yet been published to the public and declined to provide a copy.

Chinese Hackers Threaten the Internet and Democracy

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Over the past decade Chinese hackers have been increasingly attacking the United States and other countries that threaten the hegemony of The Party.

Many thought the internet would bring democracy to China. Instead it empowered rampant government oppression, and now the censors are turning their attention to the rest of the world.

Chinese hacking groups fall under the category of Advanced Persistent Threat (APT). The United States and China have this weird, sadomasochistic relationship, and while I don’t believe in trade wars, I think it’s important we send a message that the U.S. won’t tolerate such egregious behavior from our partners.