Apple could be used as a 'bargaining chip' in the trade war, Chinese state media warns

Apple has benefited from cheap labor and a strong supply chain in China and needs to share more of its profit with the Chinese people or face "anger and nationalist sentiment" amid the ongoing trade war, an article in the state-backed People's Daily warned Tuesday.

The opinion piece highlights how Apple made $9.6 billion in revenues in China in the June quarter, which helped the U.S. giant to recently hit a $1 trillion valuation.

But the continuing trade war between the U.S. and China could leave Apple and other U.S. firms vulnerable as "bargaining chips" for Beijing, according to the article.

"The eye-catching success achieved in the Chinese market may provoke nationalist sentiment if U.S. President Donald Trump'srecently adopted protectionist measures hit Chinese companies hard," the People's Daily said.

"China is by far the most important overseas market for the U.S.-based Apple, leaving it exposed if Chinese people make it a target of anger and nationalist sentiment. China doesn't want to close its doors to Apple despite the trade conflict, but if the U.S. company wants to earn good money in China, its needs to share its development dividends with the Chinese people."


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