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Waning iPhone demand highlights consumer anxiety in China

Brands from Ford to jeweler already have reported abrupt declines in sales.


BEIJING — 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 Jan. 2 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%. But China’s tariff fight with the US 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.

 

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