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Chinese media have called this year’s Apple product launch event the “softest” one yet. Unlike Apple’s previous hardware-focused launch events, 2019 was all about the services—Apple News+, Apple Arcade, Apple TV and Apple Card. The company is pivoting away from hardware and toward content-based services.

This strategy, however, may ignore the desires of Chinese consumers, who may not have access to these new services.

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Shi Jiayi

Shi Jiayi is the Shanghai-based visual reporter helping provide multimedia elements about China’s fast-changing technology and culture. She holds a B.A. in Convergence Journalism from the University...