Kuo: Global iPhone Shipments Could Decline Up to 30% If Apple Forced to Remove WeChat From App Store [Updated x2]

In a worst-case scenario, Apple's annual global iPhone shipments could decline by 25–30% if it is forced to remove WeChat from its App Stores around the world, according to a new research note from analyst Ming-Chi Kuo viewed by MacRumors. The removal could occur due to a recent executive order aiming to ban U.S. transactions with WeChat and its parent company Tencent.

apple wechat
Kuo lays out optimistic and pessimistic scenarios depending on whether Apple is only required to remove WeChat from the App Store in the United States or if the ban would apply to the ‌App Store‌ in all countries.

WeChat is extremely popular with Chinese mobile device users, essentially operating as its own platform on top of iOS and Android for many users, but the app is also widely used around the world and has over 1.2 billion monthly active users. Kuo argues that a worldwide ban on WeChat in the ‌App Store‌ would be devastating as a result.

Since WeChat is very critical to Chinese users, integrating communications, payments, e-Commerce, social software, news reading, and productivity functions, we believe that the move will tank iPhone shipments in the Chinese market. We estimate that global iPhone shipments will decline by 25–30%. Global shipments of other Apple hardware products, including AirPods, iPad, Apple Watch, and Mac, will decline by 15–25%.

Under his optimistic scenario in which WeChat is only removed from the U.S. ‌App Store‌, Kuo predicts global ‌iPhone‌ shipments would be impacted by 3–6% with other Apple products being affected by less than 3%.

Apple does not break down its ‌iPhone‌ shipments by region, but overall, Greater China accounted for a little over 15% of Apple's total revenue during the June quarter, making it a significant part of Apple's business.

Kuo recommends that investors reduce their stock holdings of companies in Apple's supply chain such as LG Innotek and Genius Electronic Optical due to the risks of a WeChat ban. It does, however, remain to be seen what will happen as the prohibitions laid out in the executive order do not take effect until September 20. As a result, there is still time for the order to be clarified, modified, or rescinded.

Update 1: 10:36 p.m. This article originally stated that the 30% decline was in reference to Apple's total ‌iPhone‌ shipments, but the research note is not completely clear as to whether it refers to global or Chinese shipments. Given the Chinese share of Apple's overall sales, it seems more likely to be referring to Chinese shipments.

Update 2: 1:21 a.m. Kuo has informed MacRumors that the 30% decline is in reference to worldwide shipments and has issued an English version of his report that makes this clear.

Note: Due to the political or social nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Political News forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.

Related Roundup: iPhone 12
Related Forum: iPhone

Top Rated Comments

Mr. Dee Avatar
30 months ago
All that needs to happen is for people to make the right decisions on Nov 3rd so the nightmare will be over.
Score: 44 Votes (Like | Disagree)
macbeta Avatar
30 months ago
Another case of the Trump overstepping his office, He thinks he's president of the world.
Score: 30 Votes (Like | Disagree)
dingclancy23 Avatar
30 months ago
Wechat is 100% of China. Apple could potentially lose all Chinese iPhone sales without WeChat. That 30% loss is worldwide.

Wechat is not just a messaging app. It is the de facto digital payment system. All personal transactions in China is done with WeChat. Chinese people will not be able to do business properly without WeChat.
Score: 20 Votes (Like | Disagree)
johannnn Avatar
30 months ago
I have tons of Chinese friends here in Sweden. All of them rely on WeChat, and would go to Android the second WeChat disappear.

Why would there be a worldwide ban though? Why the hell would Trump decide which I apps I can use in Sweden?
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)
dingclancy23 Avatar
30 months ago
Ha if this happens, Apple will allow jailbreaking and let third party Chinese app stores run in iOS 13.7.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
djgamble Avatar
30 months ago
Worth noting, WeChat isn't some 'popular' platform in China. It's pretty much a compulsory app that the government uses to track people's movements/habits and monitor their conversations.

Not having it would severely inconvenience your movements/interactions in China because a lot of public infrastructure relies on it.

So... people wouldn't be dumping Apple by choice because they 'want' WeChat. Rather, their lives would become a lot more complicated.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

applefifthavenue

Man Robbed After Buying 300 iPhones From Apple Fifth Avenue

Tuesday November 29, 2022 11:54 am PST by
An unnamed 27-year-old man who purchased 300 iPhones from Apple Fifth Avenue on Monday morning was robbed shortly after leaving the store, according to 1010Wins Radio in New York. He was carrying 300 iPhone 13s in three bags and walking to his car at 1:45 a.m. when another car pulled up next to him. Two men jumped out and demanded that he hand over the bags. Not wanting to hand over 300...
iOS 16

Apple Releases iOS 16.1.2 With Carrier Improvements and Crash Detection Optimizations

Wednesday November 30, 2022 10:09 am PST by
Apple today released iOS 16.1.2, another minor bug fix update that comes one week after the release of iOS 16.1.1 and three weeks after the launch of iOS 16.1, an update that added support for iCloud Shared Photo Library, Matter, Live Activities, and more. The iOS 16.1.2 update can be downloaded on eligible iPhones over-the-air by going to Settings > General > Software Update. According...
app store awards 2021

Apple Announces 2022 App Store Award Winners, Highlighting Best Apps of the Year

Tuesday November 29, 2022 3:10 am PST by
Apple today announced its 2022 App Store Award winners, highlighting the 16 best apps and games selected by Apple's global App Store editorial team. The top apps were chosen by Apple for their quality, innovative technology, creative design, positive cultural impact, and ability to deliver "exceptional experiences." Apple CEO Tim Cook said: This year's App Store Award winners reimagined...
14 vs 16 inch mbp m2 pro and max feature 1

'M2 Max' Geekbench Scores Leak Online, Revealing Rumored Specs and Performance

Wednesday November 30, 2022 2:39 am PST by
Geekbench scores allegedly for the upcoming "M2 Max" chip have surfaced online, offering a closer look at the performance levels and specific details of the forthcoming Apple silicon processor. The Geekbench results, first spotted on Twitter, are for a Mac configuration of with the M2 Max chip, a 12-core CPU, and 96GB of memory. The Mac listed has an identifier "Mac14,6," which could be...
eufy camera

Anker's Eufy Cameras Caught Uploading Content to the Cloud Without User Consent [Updated]

Tuesday November 29, 2022 1:01 pm PST by
Anker's popular Eufy-branded security cameras appear to be sending some data to the cloud, even when cloud storage is disabled and local only storage settings are turned on. The information comes from security consultant Paul Moore, who last week published a video outlining the issue. According to Moore, he purchased a Eufy Doorbell Dual, which was meant to be a device that stored video...
Apple Park View

Elon Musk Meets With Apple CEO Tim Cook Amid Claims of Twitter App Store Dispute [Updated]

Wednesday November 30, 2022 12:43 pm PST by
Twitter CEO Elon Musk today met with Apple CEO Tim Cook at the Apple Park campus in Cupertino, California, according to a tweet shared by Musk this afternoon. Musk thanked Cook for taking him around Apple's headquarters, with no mention of what the two might have discussed. The meeting comes just after Musk on Monday claimed that Apple has "mostly stopped" offering ads on Twitter, and that...
iphone 11 tesla cybertruck close up

Elon Musk Pledges to Build iPhone Rival If Apple Ousts Twitter

Tuesday November 29, 2022 2:48 am PST by
Elon Musk has pledged to offer an "alternative phone" if Apple and Google remove Twitter from their app stores, adding to long-standing rumors about an iPhone rival from Tesla. Modified iPhone 11 Pro in the style of the Tesla Cybertruck, by Caviar. Musk's remark came after being asked about the potential scenario of Twitter being removed from app stores, which could conceivably happen if the...
Cyber Monday Deals Feature 2022

Best Cyber Monday Apple Deals Still Available for AirPods, Apple TV, iPad, and More

Monday November 28, 2022 5:24 am PST by
The Black Friday and Cyber Monday holiday shopping rush is drawing to a close, but there are still some good deals to be had out there. For Apple products, many of the deals you've seen since last week are still available, though some have expired. So for anyone who missed out on Black Friday deals, there's still an opportunity to get some of the year's best prices on many Apple devices. Note: ...
apple music replay 2022 highlight reel cropped

Apple Music Replay 2022 Revamped With 'Highlight Reel' [Updated]

Tuesday November 29, 2022 4:02 am PST by
Apple today rolled out an updated Apple Music Replay experience for 2022, showcasing a new "highlight reel" feature. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. The overhauled experience, which started to be noticed by Apple Music subcribers on Twitter earlier today, puts the new highlight reel feature at the forefront of the Replay webpage, which users are encouraged to...
iPhone 14 Pro Rear Camera

iPhone 15 to Use 'State-of-the-Art' Image Sensor From Sony for Better Low-Light Performance

Monday November 28, 2022 11:00 am PST by
Apple's upcoming iPhone 15 models will be equipped with Sony's newest "state of the art" image sensors, according to a report from Nikkei. Compared to standard sensors, Sony's image sensor doubles the saturation signal in each pixel, allowing it to capture more light to cut down on underexposure and overexposure. Nikkei says that it is able to better photograph a person's face even with...