Unlike tech companies that haven’t broken into the country or only
do minor business in it, Apple is now so deep in China that
leaving it could be catastrophic. Even if the company was willing
to forgo the $44 billion a year in sales it makes in China, it
can’t leave the deep network of suppliers and assemblers that
build hundreds of millions of iPhones every year.
Earlier this year, in response to the escalating US-China trade
war, Apple floated the idea that it could move some of its
production outside of China to hedge its bets. But it was only
willing to suggest that it would move a third of production.
So even if Apple decided to make the wrenching decision to get
out of China today, it couldn’t. It is stuck there, for better
and for worse.