Trade war heats up. Apple caught in middle. Again.

Accusing the U.S. of “unreasonable suppression” of Huawei, China threatens countermeasures.

From Reuters’ “China ready to put Apple, other U.S. companies in ‘unreliable entity list’: Global Times” posted Friday:

China is ready to put U.S. companies in an “unreliable entity list,” as part of countermeasures against Washington’s move to block shipments of semiconductors to Huawei Technologies, the Global Times reported on Friday.

The measures include launching investigations and imposing restrictions on U.S. companies such as Apple Inc, Cisco Systems Inc, Qualcomm Inc as well as suspending purchase of Boeing Co airplanes, the report said here citing a source.

The Global Times is published by the People’s Daily, the official newspaper of China’s ruling Communist Party. While the Global Times is not an official mouthpiece of the party, its views are believed to reflect those of its leaders.

My take: When the shooting starts, Apple makes a big fat target. 


  1. Paul Brindze said:
    Tim has shown his ability to thread this needle before. Apple is almost as much a Chinese company as a US one.

    While I am sure that various parties will play the Apple part of this story for all its worth for their various reasons (click-bait, short term price manipulation, political advantage etc), on a substantive long term level, I believe the effect on Apple will be minimal.

    Still seems like terrible timing for heating up a trade war from a US economic perspective. And, of course, Apple PPS is not immune to macro market moves.

    May 16, 2020
    • Fred Stein said:
      Agree. We’ve seen this saber rattling before. We might soon see a buying opportunity for AAPL. Both sides have much to lose w.r.t. Apple. With Boeing and Cisco, China has little to lose.

      May 16, 2020
  2. Gregg Thurman said:
    Trump should be targeting the EU and the Airbus as well. Without subsidies Airbus is a footnote in history.

    May 16, 2020
  3. Dan Scropos said:
    I hope the administration digs in and punishes China severely. The $6 trillion they’ve fleeced in blatant IP theft over the last decade is reason enough to put the screws to them. Add to that the latest act of war with the intentional misinformation campaign with the W.H.O. about Covid-19, and they remain the biggest threat to both our country and this world. Just a barbaric leadership team over there.

    May 16, 2020
  4. Jerry Doyle said:
    Apple will do just fine as Tim Cook has the requisite skills to navigate this geo-political storm between the USA & China.

    China must be dealt with for repeatedly violating international World Trade Organization rules. Like the World Health Organization, the WTO is emasculated without the US interceding through its economic strength.

    China relies on a diverse set of unfair trade practices such as currency manipulation, illegal export subsidies, intellectual property theft and protection of its own markets to strengthen its manufacturing base and drive its export-driven growth. These WTO violations must not continue. The current administration has taken on what other previous contemporary administrations refused to confront: America’s single greatest foreign-policy challenge today of a rising authoritarian China’s provocative challenge to a new world order where China legitimizes Authoritarianism in our time.

    May 16, 2020

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