China Apple boycott: Small… for now

By: Jason Cho, Danielle Goldfarb, and Emily Kuzan

As U.S.-China tensions escalate, will Chinese consumers retaliate against U.S. products, and specifically Apple? U.S. media reported growing boycotts of Apple products after the arrest of Huawei’s CFO in December 2018 and again in May 2019 after the U.S. moved to ban Huawei networks. RIWI’s daily tracking shows a) about half of Chinese Internet users are aware of calls to boycott Apple, b) those who prefer North American products do not plan to switch… yet, and c) there is a small drop in intentions to buy Apple products… so far.

As the trade war escalates and China uses the full range of tools it has available, it may expand consumer boycotts of U.S. products. If herd behavior kicks in, what is now only a small effect could escalate rapidly and dramatically, negatively impacting the growing number of U.S. companies that depend on Chinese sales for a significant share of their revenues. RIWI’s daily tracking will identify if such an inflection point occurs in real-time.

To continue reading about RIWI’s real-time tracking of the Apple boycott, click here.