US President Donald Trump issued an executive order last week that prohibits any transactions related to WeChat by an American entity after September 20, effectively moving towards its potential removal from devices made by US brands. Now, noted analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has predicted that Apple’s global iPhone shipments could nosedive by 25–30% if the company removes WeChat from the App Store.
“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%,” Kuo mentioned in his report (via Macrumors).
WeChat has over a billion users and it is wildly popular in China where it is used for instant messaging and mobile payments among other services. And with China being one of the biggest markets for Apple, the sale of iPhones is expected to take a big hit in the country where the absence of WeChat from a smartphone will definitely be a red flag for many. However, Kuo notes that if WeChat is banned only in the US, the global iPhone shipment will ‘only’ take a 3-6% hit.