About the Author

Cam MacMurchy

@zhongnanhai

A former radio and print journalist, podcast lover, digital communications guy, Vancouver Canucks fan, frequent flier, iPad productivity evangelist, news junkie and Canadian who has been immersed in China for 15 years. Now based in Hong Kong as VP of Corporate Communications (Digital) at a Hong Kong-listed company.

Email: cam@9to5mac.com / findme@cams.email

Web: CamMacMurchy.com

July 11

Hong Kong’s Octopus confirms Apple Pay support coming later this year for iPhone and Apple Watch

Apple Pay is finally coming to Hong Kong’s Octopus card system after rumors first surfaced last month that it would be part of iOS 13.

July 10

Chinese state-run media have published a story looking at Apple’s App Store that criticizes the company for allowing fake reviews that trick people into downloading apps. The story was originally run by China National Radio and was picked up by other outlets around the country, an indication the government could be ramping up pressure on Apple amid a protracted trade war.

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March 23

Huawei Technologies, the Chinese behemoth with a growing portfolio of technologies and products, apparently doesn’t have any that appeal to the founder’s daughter — who also happens to be Huawei’s Chief Financial Officer.

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Sylvania HomeKit Light Strip

March 12

Apple is often both praised and criticized for being a “luxury” tech brand, particularly now that iPhone prices have breached the $1,000 threshold. MacBooks, iPads, Apple Watches — they all look expensive and stylish, in addition to being functional. With so many people shelling out big dollars for the newest gadgets, luxury accessories-makers have decided they want a piece of the action, too.

“Luxury” is relative, though. At the ultra-high end are products like the titanium Gray Aurora iPhone case, which retails for a whopping $3,787. Then there are premium accessories with high price tags, but aren’t too high. The question is whether it’s worth splurging on a nice leather messenger bag when your trusty old backpack works just as well.

I set out to answer that question (at least partially). In my quest to find some of the best leather bags and cases, I was surprised by the sheer number of companies playing in the space. There are loads of options, and I couldn’t review all — or even most — of them. Instead, I picked four products that caught my eye. All of these were purchased outright, except for the Blake Leather Folio, which was sent to me to review. I received no financial incentives, compensation, or discounts from any of these companies.

With that out of the way, let’s get started.

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February 12

There is a common saying among expats in China – particularly longtime “China Hands” – that goes like this: The more time you spend in China, the less you understand it. So it’s with this in mind that we try and break down exactly what’s going wrong for Apple in China these days, likely a confluence of factors from politics and economics to nationalism and a rapidly changing consumer market. There’s no easy answer.

People have begun wondering what’s wrong following a few worrying signs: Apple announced a severe slowdown in iPhone sales in China on its recent earnings call, a new report by IDC confirmed a concerning tumble in iPhone sales, and Apple’s uncharacteristic decision to cut prices on the latest model phones sold at some of China’s largest retailers. These don’t seem like moves that would be made by a strong, confident company.

So what’s wrong in China? Let’s dig in.

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January 27

The Christmas and New Year holidays are behind us, but China and a couple of other countries in Asia are now gearing up for the Lunar New Year holiday.

The Chinese New Year, or Tet in Vietnam, is the biggest holiday on the calendar over here. It triggers the largest human migration in the world as millions of Chinese working in the metropolises of Shanghai, Beijing, Shenzhen, Guangzhou, and other buzzing cities head back home to visit their families.

I’ll be leaving town, too, which got me thinking about the tech I’ll be bringing with me. I’m fortunate to do plenty of international travel each year, mainly because flights from Hong Kong are cheap and there are a number of amazing destinations within a couple of hours’ flight. (Japan, Taiwan, Korea, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Malaysia, I could go on…)

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January 11

Apple’s HomeKit seemed to be the star of the show at the Consumer Electronics Show this year, with a wide range of home-based gadgets — TVs, ceiling fans, outdoor sensors, light panels, a screen-based hub, 4K security cameras, thermostats and more — making headlines.

The HomeKit ecosystem is growing, and it looks like prices may even begin inching downward as well — but that’s not enough, and not fast enough either. As Bradley Chambers wrote in an opinion piece, Apple is leaving a lot of potential on the table by relying solely on third parties to create home-based gadgets.

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January 3

Apple’s share price has taken a steep tumble since rumors began to spread that the iPhone XS and XS Max weren’t selling well. Unlike past years, though, this time the rumors were right: the iPhone giant confirmed yesterday that it expects lower-than-expected sales for its newest line of iPhones. Markets that were already jittery over trade wars and a government shutdown heavily sold off on the news, pushing Apple’s share price down to $144 from a high of $233 in October.

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December 10, 2018

Singapore’s Dash virtual wallet now works with Apple Pay

Apple Pay might be growing slowly in the United States, but it has taken off like a rocket in many countries around the world …

December 8, 2018

These are dark days for Apple, at least in terms of its stock price. Multiple reports are indicating the iPhone XS and XR series phones aren’t selling as well as Apple had hoped, knocking the company’s share price down more than 25% from its high a couple of months ago.

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December 5, 2018

China’s dominant social app WeChat rolls out ‘Selfie Stickers’ for iPhone

WeChat, or 微信 (Weixin) as it’s known inside China, dominates people’s digital lives in China in a way that no app does in the United States. It’s WhatsApp, Facebook’s news feed, Venmo, Uber, Tinder, and a gaming platform all rolled up into one. And even that hardly scratches the surface. Now Tencent, the behemoth that owns WeChat, is adding one more function to the latest version of the app for iOS — stickers.

December 4, 2018

A dual-SIM iPhone was way down the list of features wanted by most buyers, so it was a surprise to hear Phil Schiller say during the September Apple keynote that the two newest iPhones would have both an eSIM and regular nano-SIM slot for phones sold globally — except in one particular region.

Dual-SIM phones have long been a big deal in China, which has a confusing labyrinth of phone plans depending on which village or town you’re in and what plan you sign up for. It’s been common for Chinese people to swap SIMs depending on who they’re calling or where they happen to be, and dual-SIM models by Huawei, Oppo and others have sold well for just this reason.

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