China says the rhetoric of US President-elect Donald Trump could lead it to block the sale of products by Apple and other US tech companies.
An editorial from the state-run Global Times news outlet suggests that, should Trump make good on his campaign promise to declare China a currency manipulator and raise tariffs on imported goods, China's government could respond by blocking the import of US goods to the mainland, with the Apple iPhone in particular getting special mention.
"China will take a tit-for-tat approach then," the article promises. "A batch of Boeing orders will be replaced by Airbus. US auto and iPhone sales in China will suffer a setback, and US soybean and maize imports will be halted."
The paper goes on to urge Trump to back off from any planned sanctions on China, and instead keep the current trade scenario, which it calls a "win-win" for the two countries.
"If Trump wrecks Sino-US trade, a number of US industries will be impaired," the editorial promises.
"Finally the new president will be condemned for his recklessness, ignorance and incompetence and bear all the consequences."
Not that China has been doing Apple many favors as of late, anyway. The last quarterly numbers to come out of Cupertino showed that revenues from China fell by 30 per cent from the prior year, and globally iPhone shipments were down 13 per cent.
Still, CEO Tim Cook has to be wondering just what he did to end up in the middle of a Sino-Trumpian war of words, particularly when he recently issued a letter to employees in an effort to ease anxiety over the election. ®