NO AMERICAN COMPANY makes as much money in China as Apple. While few make that much money at all, Apple raked in $44bn of revenues in Greater China during the 2019 financial year, mostly from selling iPhones. That is more than the global sales of United Airlines and Nike and about as much as Tencent, a domestic tech giant. Few countries have as much power as China to shape Apple’s fortunes.
The virus that has swept across the country is doing just that, hurting both manufacturing operations and sales of iPhones in Apple’s second-biggest market. Many of the migrant workers on whom Apple and its contract manufacturers depend have not yet returned to their posts as the movement of people is restricted by the government. Shoppers have not yet returned to the streets. As a result, on February 17th Apple warned investors that it would miss its revenue guidance for the quarter. The firm’s shares, which have been on the ascent since last summer, dropped by nearly 2% after the announcement.
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This content was originally published by The Economist: Business. Original publishers retain all rights. It appears here for a limited time before automated archiving. By The Economist: Business