As the United States continues its trade disputes against China for the latter's alleged practices that are deemed national security concerns, Huawei was the most recent high-profile Chinese tech company that was blacklisted by regulators. This has significantly affected sales of its devices as restrictions were imposed against its products and services. Aside from TikTok, the current administration included WeChat into the list of banned apps on Android and iOS. However, analysts warn that Apple stands to lose approximately 30 percent of its iPhone shipments in the aftermath of this development.

It was not long ago that the Cupertino-based tech group reported favourable third-quarter earnings for their smartphone lineup. So far, the executive order signed by US president Donald Trump is limited to the app's usage in the U.S. Renowned former KGI securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo who is currently connected with TF international, notes that any further changes will likely have devastating implications in the long run.

If Trump recommends that Apple remove WeChat from the App Store globally, a substantial number of users will be affected. The tech industry knows that China is one of the biggest markets for tech companies. Hence, any drastic actions taken might force Beijing to retaliate against American-owned businesses. According to MacRumors, the app has logged more than 1.2 million active users every month.

"Since WeChat is very critical to Chinese users, integrating communications, payments, e-Commerce, social software, news reading, and productivity functions, we believe that the move will tank ‌iPhone‌ shipments in the Chinese market," as highlighted by Kuo in his report. "We estimate that global ‌iPhone‌ shipments will decline by 25–30%. Global shipments of other Apple hardware products, including AirPods, iPad, Apple Watch, and Mac, will decline by 15–25%."

Trump's executive order, which takes effect in 45 days, bars anyone under US jurisdiction from doing business with TikTok or WeChat's owners Photo: AFP / Martin BUREAU

If the ban remains exclusive to the U.S. App Store, the analyst predicts the impact would go down to about "3–6%" for the iPhone and "less than 3%" for other Apple products. China makes up roughly 15 percent revenue, which is evidently crucial to its earnings. Meanwhile, to add to the company's woes, the European Union might launch an antitrust investigation related to its App Store policies which have been recently called out by Facebook and Microsoft.