How Trump's tariffs could affect China's tech industry
President Trump says he’ll slap tariffs on billions of dollars worth of Chinese goods -- and that could make many Chinese electronics more expensive in the US.
We won’t know for a few days what exactly will be targeted, but the top four Chinese exports to the US are all tech products: Cell phones, computers, telecommunications equipment and computer accessories.
Unsurprisingly, cell phones are by far the largest single category, being almost double the next item on the list. Among those are ZTE -- well behind Apple and Samsung but challenging LG for third place in the US.
But what makes this story complicated is that it isn’t just Chinese companies exporting products to the US: American companies are too. Reuters says Apple’s iPhone is responsible for about 22% of the US$70 billion in cell phones that China sends to the US.
And American companies likely play a big role in the second biggest imported product: Computers. Apple also makes many computers in China, and Lenovo is the fourth largest PC vendor in the US, accounting for nearly 12% of shipments in the last quarter.
Telecommunications equipment isn’t something consumers directly deal with, but they are vital for the operation of mobile networks and the internet. And one of the biggest companies in this space is Huawei -- a company accused by the US of having close ties with the Chinese government.
The US also imported $31 billion worth of computer accessories from China. Anker, one of the most popular brands on Amazon for cables, chargers and batteries is Chinese.
How much Anker or anyone else will be affected by tariffs -- and how much you’ll have to pay as a result -- is still unknown. Until the US government reveals exactly what’s on the list, we can only guess at what may be taxed. But given how much technology is sent from China to the US, it’s likely that some of these products will be targeted.