Recently, US President Donald Trump signed an executive order banning TikTok parent ByteDance, and WeChat from any transactions with US companies. This order could mean that Apple will be forced to remove WeChat from the App Store across the world. Earlier, Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo had said that removing WeChat could result in a 30% decline in iPhone sales because of its impact on Chinese audiences, and now another survey is highlighting a similar potential issue for Apple.
The survey on Weibo saw over 1.2 million responses, and found that 95% Chinese iPhone users would rather switch from their iPhones than stop using WeChat.
For the unaware, WeChat is incredibly popular in China, where it’s widely considered an ‘OS inside an OS’. The app offers a whole bunch of features other than messaging. WeChat is used in China for shopping, payments, as a social network, among many other things. As such, removing WeChat from the iPhone in China will deal a huge blow to the Cupertino giant.
The app has over 1 billion users in China, and without it, Chinese users will find the iPhone almost entirely useless.
As of right now, it’s unclear if President Trump’s order will apply to regions outside the US or not. The executive order he signed is extremely vague about these issues, and chances are it will be toned down to only force US companies to remove WeChat and TikTok from their US app stores.
WeChat hasn’t taken any legal steps against Trump’s orders. However, TikTok has said it will sue the US government for attempting to ban the app in the country. How the US government handles the ban going forward is something that remains to be seen. Right now, things don’t seem that good for any of the companies involved with this order, including US giants such as Apple.