Apple shipped 2.5 million iPhones in China in March following virus slump

Apple shipped roughly 2.5 million iPhones in China in March, a slight rebound after one of its worst months in the country ever. (AFP)
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Updated 14 April 2020

Apple shipped 2.5 million iPhones in China in March following virus slump

  • Smartphone companies are hoping for a strong recovery in demand in China
  • Mobile phone shipments in China in March totaled 21 million units

SHANGHAI: Apple shipped roughly 2.5 million iPhones in China in March, a slight rebound after one of its worst months in the country ever, according to government data published on Friday.
Smartphone companies are hoping for a strong recovery in demand in China, where the deadly coronavirus is subsiding, just as it spreads overseas and looks set to trigger a global recession.
Mobile phone shipments in China in March totaled 21 million units, according to data from the China Academy of Information and Communications Technology (CAICT), a government think tank.
That was a more than three-fold increase from February, yet still down roughly 20 percent compared with March 2019.
Chinese retailers largely resumed operations by early March, with brick-and-mortar outlets re-opening and e-commerce logistics getting back in gear after the virus and tough containment measures brought much of the economy to a standstill in the first two months.
Apple shipped roughly 500,000 phones in China in February, according to the CAICT.
Many smartphone makers are now hoping that sales in China can cushion declines in overseas markets in coming months.
In its quarterly earnings call, the then-CFO of Xiaomi Corp. said that the Chinese market had recovered to roughly 80 percent of its normal levels.
The company later wrote a letter to the government of India, one of its largest markets, requesting that it consider smartphones an essential commodity and therefore exempt from shipping restrictions.
Earlier this month several Chinese online retailers slashed prices on iPhone 11 models. Apple has let third-party sellers in China offer discounts in the past in order to spur demand.
The company announces its quarterly earnings results on April 30.


Virus sees Booking.com slash quarter of global staff

Updated 04 August 2020

Virus sees Booking.com slash quarter of global staff

  • The company warned that “up to 25 percent” of employees could go in what it called an “extremely difficult step”
  • Booking.com’s Amsterdam headquarters was expected to be among the sites affected

THE HAGUE: Online travel agency Booking.com said Tuesday it will cut up to a quarter of staff worldwide due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, leading to thousands of job losses.
The Amsterdam-based booking site, which employs around 17,500 people around the world, declined to give an exact number of posts that will be slashed, saying details would become clearer “in the coming weeks and months.”
But it warned that “up to 25 percent” of employees could go in what it called an “extremely difficult step.”
“The Covid-19 crisis has devastated the travel industry, and we continue to feel the impact as travel volumes remain significantly reduced,” the company said in a statement sent to AFP.
“While we have done much to save as many jobs as possible, we believe we must restructure our organization to match our expectation of the future of travel,” it added.
Booking.com’s Amsterdam headquarters was expected to be among the sites affected, Dutch media reports added.
Hard-hit by the slowdown in international travel resulting from the lockdown, Booking.com follows in the footsteps of other digital travel sites such as Airbnb and TripAdviser, which have also laid off around 25 percent of their workforce.
Booking.com applied in April for state support.
Last month it received some 61 million euros ($71.8 million) from the Dutch state, making it the third-largest recipient of support behind flagship airline KLM and Dutch Rail (NS), the ANP national news agency reported.
Founded in 1996, Booking.com has some 28 million listings on its website which is available in 43 languages.