After the U.S. suggested banning various Chinese owned apps including WeChat, Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson warned that Chinese consumers could boycott Apple and U.S based businesses in China.
US President Donald Trump announced the ban on Chinese owned apps WeChat and TikTok this month which was to take effect on mid-September. Trump argued that the apps posed a national security threat which further created tensions between Beijing and Washington.
The Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian tweeted Friday that “If WeChat is banned, then there will be no reason why Chinese shall keep iPhone and apple products. many Chinese people are saying they may stop using iPhones if WeChat is banned in the US”.
Zhao accused the U.S. of “systematic economic bullying of non-US companies”.
Many Chinese citizens gave their opinions on the tensions between the two states. “I use Apple, but I also love my country,” said one social media user. “No matter how good Apple is, it’s just a phone. It can be replaced, but WeChat is different, Modern Chinese people will lose their soul if they leave WeChat, especially business people.” Said another.
Apple was responsible for 8% of China’s smartphone market in the second quarter of 2020, which is already far behind the domestic leaders Huawei.