What’s the most important region to Apple? If today’s WWDC keynote is anything to go by, it’s China. No other country got the number of shout-outs—indeed, no other country got any shout-outs—that China did. Whenever Apple had the opportunity to namedrop China or a Chinese company, they took it.
- First, when Apple announced the new Scribbles feature for Apple Watch, they pointed out that it is only available in English and Chinese for now.
- Next, when Apple showed off its emergency calling feature for the Apple Watch, they mentioned Hong Kong when talking about international support.
- Then Apple showcased China’s WeChat when it talked about iOS’s new Siri SDK, with SVP of software engineering Craig Federighi saying, "Send a WeChat to Nancy telling her that I will be five minutes late."
- Next, Apple gave a shout-out to Chinese ride sharer Didi, which they now invest in, when Apple announced Apple Maps is being opened up to developers.
- When Apple discussed Apple Pay support out of the box, they highlighted support for China’s Alipay.
- When Federighi revealed the new Phone iOS extension API that helps detect phone call scams, Apple name-checked its usefulness in China, and even showed a Chinese phone number on the screen mockup.
Of course, Apple isn’t the only company that realizes how important China is to its future growth. However, it has been having a number of issues with the government and regulators in the country that others have not, so anything Apple can do to make itself more appealing to the powers that be of the most populous country in the world is probably a good thing for the company.
So this probably won’t be the last WWDC with major shoutouts to China. But next time, perhaps make them a little more subtle, okay Tim and friends? Twitter is having a field day.
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