China Inexplicably Cancels iPhone Launch Livestream

Update 1340ET: In a shocking move by Chinese authorities, all major social media outlets in China have canceled the Apple Livestream with no reason given.

Bloomberg reports that Tencent Video, Bilibili, Iqiyi, and Weibo all canceled the Apple Livecast.

This sent AAPL shares sliding...

...and so WWIII begins.

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It comes as no surprise, that on the same day Apple is set to unveil the new 5G iPhone, a report surfaces via the Nikkei, outlining how key iPhone suppliers have ramped up production of the new smartphone. 

Sources told Nikkei that top iPhone assemblers, Foxconn and Pegatron, have been running at "full production speed" in the last couple of weeks, especially during Mid-Autumn Festival and the Golden Week holiday. 

Production of the new 5G iPhone began in mid-September, with "more substantial production output," which started in the first week of October, Nikkei said.

Apple and its suppliers have been dealing with supply chain disruptions this year due to the coronavirus pandemic. Besides the disruptions, Nikkei said 5G iPhone production could be around 73-74 million units this year, which would miss the original estimates of 80 million. Apple expects to make up any shortfalls this year with increased production next year if sales are strong. 

At today's event, Apple will release two 5G iPhones - the 6.1-inch and 6.7-inch models. The Cupertino-based tech giant is locked in a smartphone war with rival Huawei Technologies. Huawei briefly surpassed Samsung Electronics' as the world's top smartphone maker this past summer. 

Today's Apple Event starts at 1:00 ET. Watch here: 

Chinese sales of 5G iPhones could hit a snag as tensions between Washington and Beijing continue to accelerate ahead of the US presidential elections. If the Trump administration gets their way in banning popular Chinese apps like WeChat or TikTok from the App Store, it could result in a worldwide iPhone shipments plunge.

The Global Times reported in mid-September that Apple could be introduced to the "Unreliable Entity List," a list of foreign companies accused of mistreating Chinese companies. Other companies the Chinese Communist Party hinted that could join the list are Qualcomm, Cisco, and FedEx.

Will the launch of 5G iPhones support Apple's lofty valuations?