Apple is currently facing several challenges in China, including geopolitical risks and a sluggish economy. However, analysts believe that the biggest challenge for Apple could come from Huawei, a Chinese tech company that recently made a major breakthrough in semiconductor technology despite U.S. sanctions. Huawei has designed its own smartphone processor called the Kirin 9000S, but due to U.S. export restrictions, it could no longer source chips from its usual manufacturer, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC). Instead, Huawei turned to China’s biggest semiconductor manufacturer, SMIC, which is also on a U.S. trade blacklist. This move has raised concerns about the efficiency and sustainability of SMIC’s chip production process. While SMIC was able to create 7nm chips for Huawei, it is unclear how efficient and profitable this process is on a larger scale. The U.S. Department of Commerce has expressed concerns about Huawei’s new chip and is seeking more information. This development has exposed weaknesses in the U.S.’s export restriction strategy, and further restrictions may be imposed. Huawei’s resurgence in the market could pose a significant threat to Apple, especially in China where Huawei is seen as a national pride and has a similar premium brand image. If Huawei is able to continue developing advanced technology, such as foldable phones, it could become a tough competitor for Apple.