Waning iPhone demand highlights consumer anxiety in China

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BEIJING (AP) – Apple’s $1,000 iPhone is a tough sell to Chinese consumers jittery over an economic slump and the trade war with Washington.

CEO Tim Cook told shareholders Wednesday that iPhone demand is waning, mainly in China. That makes the tech giant the latest global company grappling with Chinese consumer anxiety.

Other brand names from Ford Motor Co. to jeweler Tiffany & Co. already have reported abrupt declines in sales to Chinese consumers.

China’s 2018 economic growth is forecast at about 6.5 percent. But China’s tariff fight with the U.S. and tumbling auto and real estate sales are undermining consumer confidence.

The spending slump in the world’s second-largest economy is a blow to global industries from autos to designer clothing that are counting on China to drive revenue growth.

A woman browses her iPhone as she walks by a mural depicting an iPhone and Chinese people buy smartphone to communicate with family members, at a subway station in Beijing, Thursday, Jan. 3, 2019. Apple Inc.’s $1,000 iPhone is a tough sell to Chinese consumers who are jittery over an economic slump and a trade war with Washington. The tech giant became the latest global company to collide with Chinese consumer anxiety when CEO Tim Cook said iPhone demand is waning, due mostly to China. Weak consumer demand in the world’s second-largest economy is a blow to industries from autos to designer clothing that are counting on China to drive revenue growth. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)
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