‘Boycott Apple’ movement gains steam on Chinese social media

MANILA, Philippines - Apple has seemingly been caught in the crossfire of the trade dispute between China and the US, which recently saw Google suspend Huawei’s access to Android.

According to Buzzfeed News, there’s now a growing number of Chinese consumers who have called for a boycott of Apple products in support of Huawei.

A number of them took to social media platform Weibo, said to be the Chinese equivalent of Twitter, to voice their opinions.

“The functions in Huawei are comparable to Apple iPhones or even better. We have such a good smartphone alternative, why are we still using Apple?” wrote one user in Mandarin, which was then translated by Buzzfeed News.

Another user joked about how the Huawei company logo looks like a sliced apple. (LOOK: Chinese diplomat tweets Huawei has ‘cut APPLE into pieces’ using an iPhone)

“I feel guilty watching the trade war. Once I have money I will change my smartphone,” remarked another.

Some users, meanwhile, said they plan to extend their boycott to other US tech firms. “Trump doesn’t allow companies to use Huawei, then let's not use Apple. We shouldn’t buy any phone that uses Qualcomm as well.”

Qualcomm is a San Diego-based tech firm, who supplies chips to a number of the world’s top phone brands. Some of which are China’s homegrown brands such as Oppo, Vivo, and Xiaomi.

Huawei, however, gets its mobile chipsets from HiSilicon, a company they fully own.

It’s not the first time such a movement picked up traction in China. Chinese companies reportedly threatened to fire employees who were using Apple products sometime in December, following the arrest of a Huawei executive in Canada.

Analysts attributed this boycott to the drop in shipments of iPhones during the first quarter of 2019.

While it might seem that Apple’s sales are about to take another big hit given what Chinese consumers are saying in social media, an expert thinks otherwise.

“It is true that nationalistic sentiment is rising in light of recent events, and I won’t be surprised if Apple takes a bit of heat as a result. But many users in China still aspire for Apple’s prestige and products. We need to be careful not to overgeneralize based upon a sample of vocal users online,” Bryan Ma, vice president of devices research at market research firm International Data Corporation told CNBC. – Rappler.com