Global Watch: Apple’s Big Bet On The Chinese Market

Yesterday’s Apple Event brought a few surprises, such as a skinny gold MacBook and a new SDK for medical researchers. One thing, however, was clear from the start—Apple is really going after the Chinese market.

From the prominently featured Chinese consumers in various promo videos shown throughout the event, down to the deliberate choice of Tencent’s WeChat in the on-stage Apple Watch demo, Apple is sending a clear message to the Chinese market. And the Cupertino-based company certainly has good reasons to do so. As the biggest global market with over 520 million active smartphone users, China has become the fastest-growing and third-biggest revenue source for Apple, partly thanks to its recent retail expansion in the country.

Even though the gold Apple Watch Edition is already being widely ridiculed for its $10,000 price tag, luxury experts are pointing out the target market that Apple has in mind could very well be the 2.4 million newly-minted Chinese millionaires, a number that’s expected to double by 2018. Add in the fact that Chinese culture has a longstanding appreciation for gold as status symbol, Apple might just hit jackpot in China with the gold watch.