Chinese online retailers slash Apple iPhone prices for second time this year

Apple’s sales from China declined 20 percent year-on-year, according to its most recent earnings report. (AFP)
Updated 06 March 2019

Chinese online retailers slash Apple iPhone prices for second time this year

  • Several electronics vendors announced discounts on iPhone devices this week
  • Mass discounts were also offered in January just before Apple reported sinking sales in China

SHANGHAI: Chinese online retailers have started discounting iPhones for the second time this year as Apple wrestles with a prolonged sales slowdown in the world’s largest smartphone market.
Several electronics vendors announced discounts on iPhone devices this week, following mass discounts in January just before Apple reported sinking sales in China.
Gadget retailer Suning.Com Co. Ltd. said it would slash the price of the iPhone XS by as much as 1,000 yuan ($148.95) from its official price. Suning had lowered the prices of other iPhone models in January along with other retailers, but those cuts excluded the iPhone XS.
Pinduoduo Inc, an e-commerce site best known for selling inexpensive goods, has also said it would sell the 64GB edition of the iPhone XS for 6,999 yuan, a drop of over 1,000 yuan from the official price.
Online retail giant JD.com Inc. said it would offer discounts on a range of Apple products including the iPhone XS and XS Max, with models of the latter device selling at discounts of up to 1,700 yuan. Like Suning, JD.com initially did not discount the iPhone XS upon its first major round of discounts in January.
Apple, JD.com and Pinduoduo did not respond to requests for comment, while Suning could not be reached.
Apple’s sales from China declined 20 percent year-on-year, according to its most recent earnings report. Slowing demand for smartphones and increased competition from local brands have chipped at its dominance in the country.
The US company has yet to change the official sticker prices of its devices that it lists on its Chinese website. Yet the company has partnered with Ant Financial, the finance arm of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, and several state-owned banks to let consumers purchase iPhones via interest-free loans.


Germany mulls how to attract skilled labor from outside EU

Updated 16 December 2019

Germany mulls how to attract skilled labor from outside EU

  • The new legislation will take effect March 1
  • German official said shortage of skilled workers is currently biggest risk to business

BERLIN: Chancellor Angela Merkel is meeting top German business and union officials on Monday to discuss how to attract skilled workers from outside the European Union as the country tries to tackle a shortfall of qualified labor.
Legislation is due to take effect March 1 making it easier for non-EU nationals to get visas to work and seek jobs in Germany. Arrangements currently applied to university graduates are being expanded to immigrants with professional qualifications and German language knowledge.
“Many companies in Germany are urgently seeking skilled workers, even in times of a weaker economy,” Eric Schweitzer, the head of the Association of German Chambers of Commerce and Industry, told the Funke newspaper group. “For more than half of companies, the shortage of skilled workers is currently the biggest risk to business.”
He called for “unbureaucratic and effective implementation” of the new legislation.
Sectors including information technology and nursing have complained of a shortage of workers.
Monday’s meeting will discuss which countries German business wants to focus on “and we will cut out the bureaucratic hurdles,” Labor Minister Hubertus Heil told RBB Inforadio. He named as examples the process of recognizing professional qualifications, language ability and visa procedures.
Like many other European countries, Germany is trying to strike a balance between the needs of its labor market, an aging native population and concern about immigration.
Heil said that the aim isn’t to undercut German wages and “our problem at the moment is rather that we are not being overrun, that we are not getting qualified workers.”