According to a new study published today, Apple is now the most profitable firm in China. This is due to US penalties on Huawei and CEO Tim Cook’s private relations with the Chinese government. According to Financial Times research, Apple currently generates more revenue than local internet behemoths Alibaba and Tencent put together. One reason is that Apple has recently been successful in two different areas.
Most local and international IT businesses have been subject to strict regulations from the Chinese government because of worries that they were becoming too big and threatening the country. Apple has, however, nearly single-handedly avoided these limitations. The Financial Times reports that Apple’s CEO Tim Cook’s business diplomacy and their mutually beneficial ties with the Chinese government are to blame.
Cook, whose regular visits to Beijing in pre-pandemic times, including meetings with Xi along with other tech executives, have helped avoid the fate of other Western tech companies.”
Apple has complied with several harsh restrictions, including those that ban VPNs, many news apps, and more. It has also demanded that user data be kept on servers maintained by state-owned businesses. The Cupertino corporation claims it has little option but to abide by local regulations in each nation where it operates. Still, many have criticized it for placing itself in a situation where it must take actions that are directly at odds with its professed principles.
The international sanctions have hindered the growth of local Chinese businesses such as Huawei. The sanctions were disastrous for Huawei because they made it impossible for the company to purchase essential technology, such as 5G processors, but most noticeably because the smartphone manufacturer lost its Android license. It would be unable to continue selling new Android phones without this. This has left a void in the mobile industry, allowing Apple to fill it.
Both businesses value their mutually beneficial partnership. Therefore neither want to endanger it. China serves as Apple’s second-largest market and has a significant industrial base. Thus it is pretty crucial to the company. Hundreds of thousands of employees that are relatively highly compensated and support the economic benefit the Chinese government.