Many big tech companies such as Google, Microsoft, and Apple have limited their business in Russia over concerns about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. This action was taken when Vladimir Putin invaded Ukraine on February 24th. Since then, many companies have restricted product sales and exports. Some have entirely stopped.
Services like Apple Pay have also stopped their services in Russia and the Apple Store has removed Russian state news outlets like RT News, and Sputnik News outside Russia.
These actions have been monitored closely in Asia, where China and Taiwan have had tense relationships. Chinese leader Xi Jinping has claimed that they will reunite in Taiwan and use force if necessary. Therefore, the situation may end up like that of Russia and Ukraine.
Although Chinese officials deny any comparison between Ukraine and Taiwan, online comments in China prove that there is nationalist and pro-Russian sentiment. Due to such views, they have lamented Apple’s actions in Russia. However, if China were to do the same with Taiwan, similar tactics would be used.
On the other hand, officials believe that curtailing business in China will be much harder as it is a manufacturing center for the country. Furthermore, it is Apple’s third-largest market after the United States and Europe.
Therefore, it would be much more difficult for Apple, and other tech companies, to use similar tactics in China. Many commentators in China questioned whether or not their iPhones would be deactivated if their country decided to liberate Taiwan.
Furthermore, it is also important to note that Chinese regulations require Apple, among other companies, to store Chinese customers’ information on servers located within the country. Thus, if they pull out of China, they would lose their customers and all of their data.