As two of the world’s largest economies battle against each other in the looming future of TikTok and WeChat, there are possible negative repercussions when it comes to Apple’s business and American-owned casinos in Macau.
The executive order that will ban TikTok and WeChat by mid-September signed by Trump last week is expected to cut any form of transaction held in the apps. That includes forcing a major change in communications between Macau’s gaming patrons in mainland China and American casinos located in Macau.
According to a report by SCMP, local Chinese teams depend on WeChat in communicating with their bosses for which some are Americans. Since gambling is illegal in mainland China, Macau casinos make use of the communication app to promote, transact, and contact clients there. Basically, WeChat plays a major role in connecting US businesspeople and casino patrons in China.
Although there isn’t enough information regarding how the WeChat ban will be implemented, banned transactions will likely result in casino patrons choosing non-US casino operators as their alternative. “The mainland Chinese tourists will prefer to go to Melco, Studio City, SJM, or Galaxy rather than Sands, MGM, or Wynn (American casino operators). This has a toxic effect on competition that ultimately has a negative impact on the US casino operators,” said Macau-based lawyer Carlos Lobo.
Weixin, the Chinese term for WeChat, is a communication tool used by the majority in mainland China since WhatsApp, Telegram, and even Facebook are banned.
Apple is one of the companies that will be affected as well since the executive order could mean Apple (and Google) will be required to deny users the chance to download the app on their iOS device, for which people in China will have less interest in purchasing an iPhone that can’t give them access to the country’s major communication tool. According to 2019 data, 20% of Apple’s total revenue is from China.
Unlike TikTok, WeChat cannot be fully separated from China which means it has a lesser chance for US acquisition, and will more likely be banned.