Apple is continuing to aggressively expand across China with several stores, and the latest location is opening up in Chongqing on March 7th. This marks the third store in the region, and this one’s address is 55 Xiejiawan Street in the Jiulongpo District. While the first pair of stores in this region were located on busy streets with magnificent exteriors, this third store is placed inside of the area’s MixC shopping mall, which opened up in fall 2014. Apple executives Tim Cook and Angela Ahrendts frequently note how critical China is to Apple’s success, and the pair have said that dozens of stores are opening in China over the next couple of years. Over the past year, China has become the vast majority of where Apple’s revenue is sourced from across the globe. (Via @iFostore)
Filed under: AAPL Company Tagged: Apple Inc, Apple Store, china, Chinese New Year, Chongqing, iPhone, MacX, New York, Retail and Wholesalers, Shopping mall
The U.S. government has accused China of violating trade agreements by imposing “intrusive” and “protectionist” rules that would prevent companies like Apple selling technology to Chinese banks.
The regulations, announced by China last month, would have required Western companies to turn over source code for products sold to banks, supposedly to permit security checks to be made–a demand to which Apple and other tech companies could never agree.
The WSJ reports that U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman said today that the rules were unacceptable.
“China’s new regulations on the use of information and communications technology in the banking industry go directly against a series of China’s bilateral and multilateral trade commitments. For example, the rules would require technology transfer and use of domestic Chinese intellectual property as a precondition for market access—both of which China has committed not to do,” said Froman.
The rules aren’t about security. They are about protectionism and favoring Chinese companies,” he said. “The administration is aggressively working to have China walk back from these troubling regulations.”
Apple’s aggressive expansion plans in China have meant the company has sometimes had to tread a careful line, such as agreeing to allow China’s State Internet Information Office to carry out security audits of Apple products sold in the country. It has, though, always refused to allow backdoor access to its products and stated it will never compromise the encryption used by its products and services.
Filed under: AAPL Company Tagged: AAPL, Apple China, Apple Inc, china, Federal government of the United States
The Chinese government has removed several prominent US tech companies, including Apple, from its list of approved vendors for state purchases, Reuters reported today. The change is hardly unexpected following the government’s response to accusations several years ago that the US National Security Administration had been using backdoors in Apple products to spy on users.
Some sources cited by Reuters say that the change may not necessarily have anything to do with security, and may instead be designed to help local companies pick up a larger portion of the government tech market. By cutting off competition from big foreign competitors, the government effectively makes local choices the only choices for many products. The security concerns, among others, could in fact be a smokescreen to cover the Chinese government’s true intentions.
Other companies dropped from the list include Intel, McAfee, and Cisco Systems. In the process of updating the list, China has allowed state purchases from many local companies, with the total number of approved vendors rising to nearly 5,000. Overseas tech companies on the list, however, were cut by a third, lending credence to the idea that this was a move to help bolster local business.
Filed under: AAPL Company Tagged: china, NSA, PRISM, spying
According to the latest numbers from IDC, Xiaomi—the rising star of the smartphone industry—has managed to pass up Samsung in China. In 2013, Xiaomi trailed Samsung’s almost 19% market share by a solid 13 percentage points (at just 5.3%), and was only the 5th largest maker of smartphones in China. Things changed in 2014. Last year, Xiaomi finished off with 12.5% of the market, almost a half-point more than Samsung at 12.1%, taking the top spot and passing not just Samsung, but Lenovo, Huawei, and Coolpad as well.
Interestingly, though, the latest numbers also show that Apple’s launch of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus contributed to a decent size dent in both Samsung and Xiaomi’s market footprint in Q4 of last year.
Apple’s market share grew from 5% to 12.3% in one quarter, while Xiaomi fell by 1.1% and Samsung fell by 3.1% over that same time period. Year over year, Samsung was down to 7.9% share compared to 18.8% in Q3 of 2013—coming out to a -49.9% growth over just 12 months.
The smartphone market in China, though, regardless of who holds the reigns, is growing. 107.5 million smartphones were shipped to China in 2014 Q4, which is a 2% growth compared to the quarter before. 420.7 million smartphones total were shipped in China in 2014, and there was a year-over-year growth of 19% for Q4.
Recently, Xiaomi held an event in San Francisco, and while it didn’t come with the launch of any of the company’s flagship products on American soil, the point of it was to introduce the brand to North America. The company is planning to bring its Mi.com marketplace website to the US before the end of the year, but for now the only thing you’ll be able to buy are accessories—like fitness trackers, power packs, and headphones.
Filed under: Tech Industry Tagged: Apple, china, IDC, iPhone, Samsung, smartphone market, Smartphones, Xiaomi