Home Apple CEO Tim Cook visits Shanghai after iPhone sales slow in China

Apple CEO Tim Cook visits Shanghai after iPhone sales slow in China


  • Tim Cook visits Shanghai ahead of a new Apple store opening, amidst reports of declining iPhone sales in China, highlighting Apple's continued commitment to the Chinese market.
  • Through Weibo posts, Cook shares experiences in Shanghai and meetings with local developers, aiming to strengthen Apple's presence and connection with Chinese consumers.
  • Competition from Huawei and other brands poses challenges for Apple in China, as recent research suggests a significant drop in iPhone sales, underscoring the importance of innovation and market strategy.

Apple’s Tim Cook is on a visit to Shanghai ahead of a new store opening in the city on Thursday (Mar. 21). This comes after recent reports of declining iPhone sales in China.

Sharing on the Weibo social media platform, the CEO has posted numerous times over the last few days as he has documented his week, just days before the new store is set to open its doors.

In one post, he says: “Nonghao Shanghai! Spent the morning walking the Bund with Zheng Kai and enjoying a classic Shanghai breakfast. I’m always so happy to be back in this remarkable city.”

Other posts show him meeting with the creators of the Nikki and Love series at Papergames who Cook says “make one of the most popular games on the App Store.”

A few weeks ago, at the beginning of March, reports emerged from Counterpoint Research suggesting sales of the iPhone in China have plunged in the first six weeks of the year.

They say Apple fell 24% over the period on stiff competition and an abnormally high January 2023.

Senior Analyst Mengmeng Zhang was quoted in the research explaining why this could have happened: “Primarily, it faced stiff competition at the high end from a resurgent Huawei while getting squeezed in the middle on aggressive pricing from the likes of OPPO, vivo, and Xiaomi….”

“Although the iPhone 15 is a great device, it has no significant upgrades from the previous version, so consumers feel fine holding on to the older-generation iPhones for now.”

Apple faces intense competition in China

In contrast to the sour Apple news, the researcher says the best-performing smartphone brands for the first six weeks were Huawei and its spinoff Honor.

Huawei smartphone unit shipments rose 64% year over year in the first six weeks of 2024. The drop in sales for Apple means the iPhone has so far lost its crown as having the best-selling smartphone in China. They only gained this status for the first time in 2023.

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Sophie Atkinson
Tech Journalist

Sophie Atkinson is a UK-based journalist and content writer, as well as a founder of a content agency which focuses on storytelling through social media marketing. She kicked off her career with a Print Futures Award which champions young talent working in print, paper and publishing. Heading straight into a regional newsroom, after graduating with a BA (Hons) degree in Journalism, Sophie started by working for Reach PLC. Now, with five years experience in journalism and many more in content marketing, Sophie works as a freelance writer and marketer. Her areas of specialty span a wide range, including technology, business,…

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