An economic slowdown in China may have a "chilling effect" on many companies that do business in the country, an analyst told CNBC on Thursday.
On Wednesday, iPhone maker Apple slashed first-quarter guidance on revenue, partly blaming the revision on a weakening economy in China and lower-than-expected iPhone revenue "primarily in Greater China." The region represents about 15 percent of Apple's revenue, according to analysts.
"China has been an engine of growth for many global companies over the last couple of decades and that may be coming to an end," Gil Luria, director of research at D.A. Davidson & Co, said. "The trade conflict may make this trend worse for companies doing business in China, but it is not appearing to be the only cause for the slowdown."
Beijing is caught up in an ongoing trade war with Washington and experts have warned about potential ramifications.
Recent economic data out of China have been soft: Factory activity in December across small, medium and large enterprises slowed, sparking concerns about Asia's largest economy.
China's GDP growth, meanwhile, has fallen to its slowest pace in more than two decades. The government has said it is cracking down on debt and trying to re-balance its economy to be more consumption driven, so some slowdown had been anticipated.
Against that backdrop, not all foreign tech companies doing business in China would be affected as much as the iPhone maker, several analysts told CNBC. For example, Apple's big smartphone rival, Samsung Electronics, likely would not take a major hit from a Chinese economic slowdown due to its limited exposure in the country.
"Apple is somewhat unique in the large level of presence it has in China versus many other American tech companies/brands, so I'm not sure that what happens to Apple will apply to all tech companies, or all American companies," Bob O'Donnell, president and chief analyst at Technalysis Research, told CNBC by email.
That said, he added, businesses are set to be "much more sensitive to China-specific results" and will watch developments in the country more closely.