Stocks and commodities sink, by the digits

4%: How much Hong Kong’s Hang Sha Index sank today (Nov. 28), before paring losses. It ended 1.6% down. The Shanghai Stock Exchange, Australia-based S&P’s Asia Index, Kospi in South Korea, and Japan’s Nikkei also felt the hit 


1.8%: Decline in Chinese copper futures

3%: Cooking oil futures in Dalian tumbled on concerns over the threat to demand at restaurants and hotels, which are already struggling


3%: Industrial profits down year-on-year in the first 10 months of the year

What’s happening with iPhone production now?

Apple has been trying to wean itself off a total reliance on China. It started producing the iPhone 14 in India way earlier than it typically does (but just the basic version; not the Pro or Pro Max versions). It’s also been boosting production in Vietnam. But catching up to the world’s factory is a slow and arduous process.


Majority of the Cupertino phone maker’s handsets are still made in China. Unrest at Foxconn’s factory in Zhengzhou—the “iPhone City” that counts over 200,000 workers—will hit 30% of supply. Desperate to retain the staff, the facility is offering $1,800 bonuses.

The higher-end versions—the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro max—are exclusively produced in Zhengzhou. “That suggests to me that the higher-end iPhones have a different set of production processes, which is not very easy to be transferred elsewhere,” Martin Yang, senior analyst of emerging technologies of investment firm Oppenheimer, told CNBC’s Street Signs Asia. “And oftentimes that refers to very custom equipment and a trained workforce that are not readily available elsewhere.”


Can China recover?

If China continues to tighten its grip on its people and its commerce, investors will likely turn more risk averse.


Listening to the demonstrators’ demands could help Chinese economy’s stewards decide next steps, offering more clarity and assurance.

“Protests could also be the catalyst that leads to a positive outcome in leading the government to set a clearer game plan on how the country is going to learn to live with covid, setting a more transparent timetable, and accelerating China’s move to living with covid,” Robert Subbaraman, chief economist at Japan’s financial services group Nomura, told Reuters.


Related stories

🚫 Apple hobbled a crucial tool of dissent in China weeks before widespread protests broke out


👊 Reports of violent protests at Foxconn’s iPhone factory show China’s harsh covid policies reaching a tipping point

🇨🇳 Unusually bold public dissent comes before Xi Jinping’s pivotal Party Congress meeting

📬 Sign up for the Daily Brief

Our free, fast, and fun briefing on the global economy, delivered every weekday morning.