China Warns Donald Trump

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iPhone sales will ‘suffer’ if Trump targets China, officials warn. A Chinese state-run newspaper writes a column cautioning the president-elect against starting a “trade war.”

As the world watches to see how President-elect Donald Trump handles his new responsibilities, China’s state-run press has readied something of a warning: start a trade war with the country and American companies could suffer.

“China will take a tit-for-tat approach” if Trump were to declare China a currency manipulator — as Trump claimed he could do — the Global Times wrote in the column. “US auto and iPhone sales in China will suffer a setback, and US soybean and maize imports will be halted.”

The Global Times is a subsidiary of People’s Daily, a newspaper group owned by the ruling Communist Party of China.Apple was contacted for comment but did not immediately respond.

Apple has had a tough enough time in China as it is. Despite investing heavily in the populous nation, its growth has dramatically slowed. Sales in the second calendar quarter in the Greater China region plummeted 33 percent year over year, shifting it from Apple’s second-biggest market to third place, now behind both the US and Europe.

The company has done much to win favor with China’s people and government including investing $1 billion in ride-hailing service Didi Chuxing, known as the Uber of China, and earlier this year debuting the smaller, cheaper iPhone SE. Despite this, Apple has faced trouble in China, including the shuttering of services and lots of legal drama.

Responding to Trump’s statement that he “liked” the idea of a 45 percent tariff on Chinese exports, the publication noted: “Not long after Barack Obama took office, US trade and commerce authorities announced a 35 percent import tariff on Chinese tires. In response, China took retaliatory steps of imposing tariffs on US chicken and automotive products. Both China and the US suffered losses as a result.”

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