The significance of Apple’s China-focused rollout

From Seeking Alpha [free reg-wall]:

March 9th keynote was literally “China-first.” The presentation began with a video showing the opening of the company’s new West Lake retail store in Hangzhou, China. Attendees and viewers of Apple’s stream saw the familiar sight of throngs of enthusiastic Apple retail employees and customers. But this time they were Chinese.


China’s influence was felt not only in the gold color offering for the new Macbook, as well as the starting price of $10,000 for the Apple Watch Edition, but in the very concept of Apple Watch as a product originating from the fashion space and a product that expresses individuality and displays status and social signifiers, all things that the Chinese consumer class craves.

The demo of WeChat, not Facebook or any Westerner messaging app, for Apple Watch, was extremely significant. To many Chinese, Wechat is the entirety of their internet, according to my own contextual inquiry in China, not simply in Beijing and Shanghai but also in third-tier cities and the countryside. Many Chinese users literally do not know how to download or use any apps except Wechat. For many Chinese, an iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus, though it gives access to the App Store universe, is in practice solely a Wechat device.

Good insight into the obvious value Apple sees in growing their Chinese presence. Very interesting.