Tim Cook denies that there's an Apple boycott in China

Apple CEO Tim Cook said Wednesday there is no widespread boycott of Apple products in China after reports emerged that the company was facing backlash over a trade war between Washington and Beijing.

“Well, certainly apple has not been targeted by the government so let me take away any kind of doubt of that right up top. There are reports, sort of sporadic reports, about somebody talking about not buying our products because we’re American, maybe a little bit on social media, maybe a guy standing in front of a store or something. My personal sense is that this is small,” Cook said on CNBC.


“Keep in mind that China’s not monolithic. Just like America’s not monolithic. You have people with different views and different ideas. And so do I think anybody elected not to buy because of that? I’m sure some people did. But my sense is the much larger issue is the slowing of the economy and then this -- the trade tension that’s further pressured,” he added.

The comments came the same day as Apple warned investors that the company expects to fall as much as $9 billion short of its earlier revenue target for the first fiscal quarter of 2019. Cook pointed to a sluggish Chinese economy, bogged down by the trade dispute, as a reason for the revision. 

“While we anticipated some challenges in key emerging markets, we did not foresee the magnitude of the economic deceleration, particularly in Greater China,” Cook wrote in a letter to investors. “In fact, most of our revenue shortfall to our guidance, and over 100 percent of our year-over-year worldwide revenue decline, occurred in Greater China across iPhone, Mac and iPad.”

Cook added that “rising trade tensions with the United States” contributed to the downturn in China. 

Washington and Beijing are currently honoring a 90-day détente on imposing further tariffs in their trade war.