Apple CEO Tim Cook made a surprise visit to China, highlighting the country’s significance to the tech giant as it grapples with mounting challenges.
Cook joined gamers at an Apple store in Chengdu, southwestern China, where they gathered to play “Honor of Kings,” a game developed by TiMi Studio, a subsidiary of Chinese tech giant Tencent.
Cook expressed his enthusiasm for the game and its journey from Chengdu to becoming a global phenomenon on the App Store.
He even shared a video of himself cheering on gamers during the tournament. “Honor of Kings” stands as one of the leading mobile games in China, significantly contributing to Apple’s App Store revenue in the country.
This visit comes on the heels of the iPhone 15’s release in China, Apple’s flagship smartphone.
However, the reception has appeared lukewarm, with Counterpoint Research reporting a 4.5% drop in unit sales during the first 17 days compared to the iPhone 14
The timing is crucial as Chinese tech giant Huawei endeavors to regain its foothold in the mobile market, defying US sanctions. Despite being hit by technology restrictions, Huawei quietly launched a smartphone featuring high-end semiconductor technology and 5G connectivity last month.
Huawei’s Rise and Fall: From Apple’s Rival to Sixth Place Amid Sanctions
Huawei, once China’s top smartphone manufacturer and a major rival to Apple, had fallen to the sixth position due to the sanctions.
However, a recent report by Jefferies analysts claimed that Huawei has now taken the top spot in the Chinese smartphone market, surpassing Apple.
Ethan Qi, associate director at Counterpoint Research, pointed to multiple factors contributing to Apple’s challenging start, including poor consumer sentiment, the iPhone 15’s performance compared to its predecessor, and intensified competition in the high-end smartphone segment.
Apple faces a dynamic landscape in China, and Cook’s visit underscores the company’s commitment to maintaining a strong presence in the critical market.
Source: NBC News