Billionaire Carl Icahn sells his Apple stock based on China fears

29 Apr 2016

Spooked by Chinese over-regulation, Carl Icahn has dumped his 1pc stake in Apple

Corporate raider Carl Icahn has sold his Apple stock based on concerns about Apple’s relationship with China’s regulators.

It is understood that Icahn has been spooked by Chinese regulators clamping down on Apple services.

In recent months, regulators shut down Apple’s iTunes Movies and iBooks services in China.

This is despite Apple creating lots of employment in China in the manufacture of core devices like the iPhone.

“You worry a little bit, and maybe more than a little, about China’s attitude,” Icahn told US TV station CNBC, warning that Beijing regulators could make things very difficult for Apple.

He said that if matters settled he would buy back into Apple.

Icahn is known for defending shareholders’ rights in terms of big tech M&A deals and has engaged in high-level battles in major transactions involving Yahoo and Dell, to name a few.

“We no longer have a position in Apple,” Icahn said.

He described Apple as a great company and said CEO Tim Cook “is doing a great job”.

Icahn previously owned just under 1pc of Apple’s shares and is understood to have made $2bn out of Apple stock.

His decision comes during a tumultuous period for the Californian tech giant after the company this week reported quarterly losses due to the first fall in iPhone sales in the device’s nine-year history.

Apple Store in Shanghai image via Shutterstock

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years