In Brief

Apple stock loses $55bn

Chief executive Tim Cook blames slowing of Chinese economy for poor sales

Apple stocks have tumbled after the company revealed iPhone sales have been slowing, sending shockwaves through global markets.

In a letter to shareholders, Apple chief executive Tim Cook said that the California-based company’s biggest drop in sales came from the Greater China region, which the BBC says includes Hong Kong and Taiwan and “accounts for almost 20% of its revenue“.

“While we anticipated some challenges in key emerging markets, we did not foresee the magnitude of the economic deceleration, particularly in Greater China,” Cook said.

Trading in Apple stocks was briefly halted after details of his letter were made public.

Shares then fell as much as 8% when trading resumed, wiping up to $55bn (£44bn) off of the company’s stock market value, CNN says.

Cook pointed at the rising trade tensions between the US and China as another reason for the expected drop in earnings for the final quarter of 2018, from around $93bn (£74bn) to $84bn (£67bn).

News of the drop in sales comes amid reports that some Chinese companies and organisations are calling for workers to boycott products made in the US or by American companies.

Organisations across China “have issued notices urging staff members to show their support for Huawei, threatening punishment against anyone caught with Apple products or even offering subsidies to buy Chinese smartphones”, CNN reports.

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