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Apple, an American Stooge

American titans cower in China.

Apple recently removed several of the world's most popular messaging apps – FB's WhatsApp and Threads, as well as Signal and Telegram – from the Chinese app store. Apple's decision was not based on performance or user concerns but rather due to pressure from China's CCP, led by President Xi Jinping, citing national security concerns. Apple offered a pathetically weak excuse about being bound to follow the laws of the countries they operate in, "even when we disagree." Pathetic.

Why would Apple, one of the most valuable companies in the world, be willing to do Xi's bidding? Like the compromised stooge in a bad mob flick, Cupertino's finest may be in too deep.

But this extraordinary success story has also created Apple’s biggest vulnerability: its dependence on a single country, China, which under President Xi Jinping has grown increasingly authoritarian and estranged from the west.

The manufacturing concentration is glaring for a risk-averse company widely lauded for leading the world in supply chain brilliance. More than 95 per cent of iPhones, AirPods, Macs and iPads are made in China, where Apple also earns about a fifth of its revenue — $74bn last year.

Apple's big bets and poor performance

Following in the steps of other American cowards, Apple is just the latest American titan willing to appease an increasingly authoritarian Xi with nothing more than weasel words.

Tim Cook's appeasement strategy may work in the short term, but the firm's stock is lagging behind its main competitors by a large margin.

Source: FT