Thursday August 1, 2019 B3
u Olympics theme
and gold seals
for the 2022
in Beijing on
winning of the
four years ago.
release of 2,022
jade seals and
5,000 gold seals
will come soon.
Photo: Li Hao/GT
u Future in question as fi rm loses cutting-edge image
Apple’s sales decline narrows
Chinese electric bus exports to Europe show great potential, investment bank says
sector sees recovery in
July, though anemic
By Song Lin
China’s manufacturing sector has seen mild re-
covery in July, showing the government’s proac-
tive fi scal and monetary policies are kicking in
and starting to shore up the growth.
The offi cial manufacturing purchasing man-
agers’ index (PMI), a preliminary readout of the
country’s manufacturing activity, came in at 49.7
for July, 0.3 percentage points higher than the
previous month, according to data from the Na-
tional Bureau of Statistics (NBS) on Wednesday.
The recovery is deemed anemic, according to
“The latest fi gure indicates that the slowdown
pressure on the manufacturing sector has mildly
eased,” Liu Xuezhi, a senior economist at Bank
of Communications, told the Global Times on
The enhanced tax and fee-reduction policy,
worked out since April, has brought about posi-
tive infl uence for manufacturing industries, Liu
According to Xinhua News Agency, China’s
newly-introduced tax cuts and fee reductions
have saved businesses around 1.17 trillion yuan
(about $170 billion) in the fi rst half of 2019,
which greatly helped Chinese businesses.
Zhao Qinghe, analyst from NBS said in a state-
ment that there have been many positive changes
in the manufacturing sector. For example, 12 out
of the 21 manufacturing categories are expand-
ing their business, three more than the previous
month. And, overall expansion of manufacturing
production has accelerated and market demand
also improved in July, Zhao said.
However, the slowdown pressure remains
as PMI readings are staying in the contraction
range, Liu noted, and weakening demand is a
A PMI reading above 50 points suggests in-
dustrial expansion, while one lower than that
In specifi c terms, the PMI for large companies
rose to expansion territory at 50.7 percent, up 0.8
percentage points on a monthly basis, while that
of middle- and small-size companies remained
trapped in the contraction area.
Liu said that middle- and small-size fi rms take
up a large proportion of China’s manufacturing
sector and therefore bear more pressure now.
More tax relief, fee reductions and other mea-
sures are needed to alley their pressure.
The takeoff of bus electrifi ca-
tion in Europe would stimulate
exports of Chinese new-energy
buses over the next few years,
a UBS securities analyst said at
a press conference on Wednes-
day in Shanghai.
“It’s a trend for European
passenger vehicle manufactur-
ing to shift to low-cost manufac-
turing areas. Considering that
China’s bus manufacturing
has relatively low costs and that
China’s new-energy process
started quite early compared
with many other countries and
regions, China has great poten-
tial to export new-energy buses
to Europe,” according to a state-
ment from UBS Securities.
Shen Wei, a car industry
analyst at UBS Securities, told
the Global Times that some
Chinese companies are already
making preliminary plans for
such exports to Europe.
In April 2018, Germany-
based bus company FlixBus
opened a long-distance pas-
senger line that used electric
buses exported from Chinese
bus manufacturing giant Yu-
tong Auto. Denmark bus op-
erator Umove also purchased
20 electric buses from Yutong
this April, according to media
Statistics provided by UBS
Securities showed that electric
buses (including pure electric
and hybrid electric buses) ac-
count for 51 percent of China’s
buses, while 29 percent of Eu-
ropean buses and 22 percent of
US buses are fuelled, entirely
or partly, by electricity.
“China has outpaced the
world in bus electrifi cation,
which means that it has a va-
riety of advantages for electric
bus exports. For example, Chi-
na’s electric vehicle industrial
chain, including the manufac-
turing of electric motors, con-
trollers and batteries, is com-
plete. Also, electric buses are
very reliant upon manual pro-
duction, where China also has
an advantage for its relatively
low-cost labor,” Shen said.
At the same time, Europe’s
bus electrifi cation is also speed-
ing up with the EU’s plan for
deploying “clean buses.” The
UBS Securities statistics noted
that Europe’s electric bus an-
nual sales are expected to reach
8,000 in 2025, compared with
1,000 in 2018. “This rapid de-
mand growth will bring op-
portunities to Chinese compa-
nies,” the company noted.
By Xie Jun
Apple’s sales decline in China nar-
rowed in April-June, Apple’s fi nan-
cial results showed. The rebound
was mainly driven by price cuts, a
strategy that only suppressed Apple’s
symptoms without reversing its sales
downturn in China, domestic mobile
phone experts told the Global Times.
Apple’s net sales in China went
down by 4.1 percent year-on-year to
$9.157 billion in April-June quarter
ended on June 29, according to Ap-
ple’s latest fi nancial statement.
This seems to be an evident im-
provement compared with Apple’s
21.5 percent year-on-year sales decline
in the second quarter in China.
In a quarterly earnings call, Apple
CEO Tim Cook expressed satisfaction
with Apple’s performance in China,
attributing the improvement to the
“combined eff ects of government
stimulus, consumer response to
trade-in programs, fi nancing off ers,
and other sales initiatives, and grow-
ing engagement with the broader
Liu Dingding, an independent
technology analyst, said that consid-
ering the gloomy mobile phone mar-
ket in the fi rst half of 2019 as con-
sumers waited for the arrival of the
5G era, Apple’s fi gures sent “positive
signals” for the brand.
He said that the change was di-
rectly caused by Apple’s price-cutting
strategy, while positive signals involv-
ing China-US trade tensions also
Sun Yanbiao, head of Shenzhen-
based research company N1mobile,
said that Apple launched a big promo-
tion during this year’s June 18 online
shopping spree, which gave a strong
and direct boost to its iPhone sales.
Sun told the Global Times on
Wednesday that this strategy could
give Apple a temporary reprieve from
its problems in China, but it wouldn’t
reverse the US brand’s fading for-
tunes in the country, which has seen
stunning mobile phone technological
Apple faced rising pressure in Chi-
na as Chinese mobile phone makers
are doing a lot of technological devel-
opment, and the US company has
been too rigid and slow to innovate.
“They don’t follow market changes.
They just keep to their outdated their
pace,” Sun said.
He said that Apple phones had
once been synonymous with cutting-
edge mobile phone technologies for
many customers in China, but now
its innovation is lagging behind.
“Many Chinese customers are not
curious about, or interested in know-
ing what new technologies Apple is
using for its new products. Its prod-
uct updates are too slow,” he said.
Apple’s fi nancial statement also
showed that its sales for iPhones fell
12 percent year-on-year to about $26
billion in the current quarter, which
also means that iPhones represented
less than half of Apple’s revenues for
the fi rst time since 2012.
Liu said that Apple’s app stores
could be a strong business growth
point for the Chinese market, as
many Chinese consumers have de-
veloped the habit of virtual payments.
Cook also noted that Apple’s 13
percent growth in Apple Services was
driven by strong growth from the app
store in China.