China Is More Than Happy to Be Nice to Apple

By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2012-03-29 Print this article Print


5. Factories

Apple has been in some hot water recently over claims that the factories producing its products have poor working conditions. To address the problem, Apple recently brought Fair Labor in to investigate the facilities. If those investigations go well, the company could be in good shape. But if they go poorly, it could dramatically impact Apple€™s relationship with China and how it€™ll work with the country going forward. Make no mistake: the stakes are high.

6. One lawsuit can change everything

Apple is currently waging a legal battle in China with a company called Proview. That firm, which is in dire financial straits, argues that Apple is violating its iPad trademark and should have the tablet banned from sale in the country. If Apple loses that case, it could go a long way in hurting the tablet maker€™s chances of succeeding in China. An awful lot is riding on that case, and Apple knows it.

7. It can capitalize on Google€™s issues

Google and Apple are waging war in nearly every country around the world. However, in China, Google hasn€™t been the most favored company, due to its battles with the government over search censorship and hacking. That€™s good news for Apple and every other company competing against the search giant. If Apple can continue to stay on the good side of the government, it could corner Google out of the market.

8. The government plays nice

Speaking of that government, it appears China is more than happy to be nice to Apple. And Apple might actually have some leverage. After all, it€™s driving China€™s consumer economy, and it€™s putting tens of thousands of people to work in its factories. Apple, meanwhile, has some leverage to possibly get what it wants€”either in legal cases or in dealings with other companies. It€™s a good position to be in, and it€™s vastly important to Apple€™s overall, global strategy. Other companies should consider following Apple€™s strategy and play nice with the Chinese government. It might just be good for business.

9. It could become Apple€™s biggest market

According to Tim Cook, China is currently Apple€™s second-largest market behind the U.S. In the coming years, if all goes well, that could change dramatically. China is poised to become Apple€™s (and probably most companies€™) biggest market and the single most important contributor to its financial health. If that doesn€™t show why it€™s so important to Apple€™s strategy, what does?

10. It gives Apple leverage globally

Finally, it€™s important to note the political position China finds itself in. The country is massive with an unending amount of political capital it can use on the United States and Europe. By getting close to the government, Apple can use some of that political capital to get better terms elsewhere around the world. It might sound rather Machiavellian, but Apple could use China as a pawn in a grand chess game that spans countries around the world. That€™s not to say Apple has actually done that, of course, but it€™s something all companies should consider going forward.

Follow Don Reisinger on Twitter by clicking here 


Don Reisinger is a freelance technology columnist. He started writing about technology for Ziff-Davis' Since then, he has written extremely popular columns for, Computerworld, InformationWeek, and others. He has appeared numerous times on national television to share his expertise with viewers. You can follow his every move at

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