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Thursday, July 18, 2019
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Ng: Apple in the crossfire

Wired Desktop

APPLE’S iPhone has always been a status symbol in many parts of the world.

Unfortunately, the American public may soon be hard-pressed to purchase newer iPhone versions should US President Donald Trump put in place tariffs on products imported from China. Understandably, tariffs protect local businesses, but if these are too high, it can also deter the foreign market from entering.

Unknown to many, Apple outsources the bulk of its production to Foxconn, a China-based manufacturing company. With a 25-percent increase in the tariff rate, compared to the current 10 percent, the burden will be placed on Apple’s consumers to bear the increased cost of the products.

As of Monday, Nov. 26, since news broke out, Apple’s stock has declined by 1.8 percent. Both Apple and the Chinese government have asked the US to delay the implementation of the tariffs. Apple also plans to bring millions back into the US as part of a repatriation program, and is expected to contribute over $350 billion into the American economy.

Just as the US-China trade war heats up, Shanghai-based research agency MobData has observed a surprising trend.

iPhone users were noted to bring home less than 3,000 yuan (around P22,000) a month. These users are considered to be part of China’s “invisible poor,” people whose overt habits don’t reflect their financial status.

The study also noted that this group tends to be comprised of unmarried women between the ages of 18 and 34, and have only reached high school level.

In contrast, Huawei phone users are considered to be more affluent than their iPhone counterparts. This group brings home 5,000 to 20,000 yuan (around P30,000 to P150,000) a month. They are typically comprised of males who are college graduates, between the ages of 25 and 34.

Naturally, the study’s results raised many eyebrows in the Chinese community, and it should. However, we may also see it as an indication of how Chinese consumers think.

Those in the upper bracket appear to have no need to rely on material possessions to impress anyone, or they may also prefer to support more local brands. On the other hand, those with a relatively lower income may feel the need to compensate for this lack in financial status, hence the need to portray a more affluent lifestyle.

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On the other side of the world, Russia has just accused Google of failure to remove banned websites from its search results. If found guilty, Google may be fined 700,000 rubles (around P546,000).

Other foreign tech companies have also come under fire with the Russian government due to the country’s stringent system.

In these instances, it is always important to understand and follow the rules and regulations governing the countries and localities of one’s business.

If you want to operate somewhere, you have to follow the laws in these areas.


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