Trump on concerns WeChat ban could hurt iPhone sales: 'Whatever'

Tim Cook and Donald Trump
Tim Cook and Donald Trump (Image credit: The Verge | Chip Somodevilla | Getty Images)

What you need to know

  • President Trump does not care about a WeChat ban hurting Apple.
  • He was asked by a reporter about Apple, which is worried a ban could impact iPhone sales in China.
  • His reply was, "whatever".

President Trump has seemingly no interest in claims a WeChat ban could hurt iPhone sales in China.

Speaking to press at a White House news conference Friday, President Trump was asked by Bloomberg's Justin Sink about concerns a recent executive order targeting WeChat could hurt U.S. businesses operating in China.

Recently, more than a dozen companies including Apple, Ford, and Walmart were reportedly lobbying the White House to rethink a ban on transactions with the app.

Sink, speaking to the President said that companies were worried that because WeChat was such a large communications platform and payment infrastructure in China, a ban could mean companies like Apple would not be able "to sell iPhones in China or similar markets", to which President Trump simply replied 'Whatever'.

Sink pressed the President asking "So you don't mind?", to which Trump replied:

"Gotta do what's good in terms of the security of our country. We've been very badly let down by China."

President Trump recently issued an executive order seeking to ban transactions between WeChat and U.S. companies. The scope of the executive order, like a similar order targeting TikTok, is vague and nebulous in its reach, and it is unclear just how wide the scope of the order could be. It seems likely it could see WeChat banned from the U.S. App Store, however, a transaction could include simply signing a user agreement with another company, which could preclude Apple from hosting WeChat on any of its App Stores globally.

A recent survey of 1.2 million China iPhone users showed 95% of those who took part would leave the iPhone platform if WeChat was banned.

Stephen Warwick
News Editor

Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design.

Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9