A difficult task
Apple's popularity in China overshadowed by WeChat.
There's no doubt that Apple has been trying to penetrate the market in China without much success, and though the reasons for this is manyfold, one of the biggest reasons is because of WeChat.
WeChat started off as a messaging app, but has now evolved into a platform that allows its users to perform payment services, make doctor’s appointments, view crowd density, and even has an integrated news feed, among other things. This amalgamation of features has effectively made WeChat a one-stop app for everything a typical individual would need in this day of age.
While Apple’s iOS does support the WeChat app, Android devices that generally cost significantly less than iOS devices do as well. This means that there is little reason for a person in China to buy iPhones or iPads.
In addition to that, native Chinese competitors like OPPO, Huawei and Vivo are also making it incredibly difficult for Apple to gain popularity in the country. This has resulted in Apple’s total share in the Chinese smartphone market amounting to less than 10 percent in 2016, according to a report by Bloomberg.
It's not all gloom and doom though, as the Thompson Research Group has identified the sense of luxury and exclusivity usually associated with Apple products being one of the main reasons why Chinese customers are still purchasing iOS devices, so if the company can maintain this perception, things won't be so bad. It's also fairly good news (for Apple) that WeChat isn't particularly popular outside of China.
WeChat is one of the main reasons why Apple can't seem to gain traction in China.