Hit or miss? The new iPhone’s performance in China remains unpredictable – China’s latest business and technology news

Business & Technology

A summary of the top news in Chinese business and technology for September 13, 2017. Part of the daily SupChina newsletter, a convenient package of China’s business, political, and cultural news delivered to your inbox for free. Subscribe here.

Marking the 10th anniversary of the initial iPhone’s launch in 2007, Apple, in its new Steve Jobs Theater on September 12, finally unveiled the long-awaited and highly anticipated new products, including a new model of Apple TV that enables 4K, the Apple Watch Series 3, the iPhone 8, and the iPhone Plus, along with the iPhone X — the biggest draw of the event. Equipped with edge-to-edge screen, face-unlock technology, and animated emojis, the iPhone X is set to define the next generation of smartphones, but whether the top-of-the-line device will boost Apple’s market share in China is still open to debate.

In case you missed the nearly two-hour-long keynote event or feel overwhelmed by all hype surrounding the new iPhone today, here is a China-focused roundup:

  • Two gaming companies, one based in Shanghai and one founded by Chinese entrepreneurs, were invited to pitch onstage yesterday, representing a rising force formed by Chinese companies in the global gaming industry.
  • One day prior to the products’ release, 58.com Zhuan Zhuan, a Chinese secondhand trading platform that is similar to Craigslist, sealed a deal with Apple supplier Foxconn to curb used-phone exchanges on the platform, as the arrival of new iPhones is believed to trigger a sell-off period for old handsets.
  • The Financial Times reports (paywall) that the delayed launch of the iPhone X caused a share-price hit on Apple component suppliers, such as Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing, the world’s biggest contract chipmaker. “In China, other Apple-linked stocks fell,” the article noted.
  • As TechNode precisely points out, the new iPhone X, sold at 8,388 yuan ($1,284) and 9,688 yuan ($1,483) in China, is much pricier than those in the U.S., where the price starts at 6,524 yuan ($999). According to Reuters, the hefty price tag is very likely to have an impact on the new iPhone’s performance in China, as the cost is almost double the average Chinese monthly salary. The hidden message of the Reuters article — that most Chinese can’t afford the device — was interpreted (in Chinese) by Chinese internet users as part of Apple’s marketing strategy. “They dared us to buy the new iPhone by belittling us. Don’t be fooled!”
  • Nicknamed as “a smartphone with hair bangs,” the new full-screen iPhone attracted lots of attention from Chinese media. TechNode has a summary of what Chinese reporters said about the new lineup.