DATA STORY: What could Apple buy with its ‘offshore’ cash?


Imagine a football team with 11 Neymar Juniors! Apple can create 115 such teams.

The recent revelations of tax evasion practices by big corporates in Paradise Papers pointed out at Apple’s secretive structure which allowed it to move a majority of its offshore wealth to a tax haven in Ireland to avoid taxes.

The leak, which contains 13.4 million documents from two leading firms in offshore finance, reveals that Apple moved about USD 252 billion to Jersey in offshore cash.

Apple has issued a statement defending its move by saying that the changes in its corporate structure in 2015 were “specially designed to preserve its tax payments to the United States” and “not to reduce its taxes anywhere else”.

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Apple said that none of its operations or investments was moved from Ireland and that it remains the largest taxpayer in the world, paying over USD 35 billion in corporate income taxes in the last three years.

To get a perspective on the sum of money that the MNC allegedly holds, let us look at a selection of different goods and services the wealth could purchase.

Here is the list of things that Apple can actually buy with its ‘offshore’ cash:

21.9 crore iPhone Xs (256 GB version)

A customer tests the features of the newly launched iPhone X at VIVA telecommunication store in Manama, Bahrain, November 3, 2017. REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed – RC11C239F8F0

The sum can buy 219,321,149 iPhone X handsets, one of the most sought-after smartphones. Apple had last month launched the device which boasts of facial recognition feature called FaceID which lets users unlock the phone by just looking at it.

Currently, the iPhone X starts at Rs 89,000 in India.

148,235 Bugatti Veyrons

Bugatti CEO Wolfgang Durheimer speaks next to the Bugatti Veyron Grand Sport Vitesse ‘La Finale’, the last of the 450 cars made, during a Volkswagen Group event ahead of the 85th International Motor Show in Geneva, March 2, 2015. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann (SWITZERLAND – Tags: TRANSPORT BUSINESS TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY) – LR2EB321H8GCO

Apple can buy 148,235 Bugatti Veyrons. Buggati Veyron has four different models with different specifications, but the first model Veyron 16.4 has over 1,000 hp, a top speed of over 400 km/hr and the ability to accelerate from 0 kmph to 100 kmph in under three seconds.

Services of 1,272 Neymar Juniors

Soccer Football – Ligue 1 – Olympique de Marseille vs Paris St Germain – Orange Velodrome, Marseille, France – October 22, 2017 Paris Saint-Germain’s Neymar REUTERS/Philippe Laurenson – RC17D32FDA30

With the $252 billion, Apple can actually buy services of Neymar Junior for 1,272 times. Imagine a football team with 11 Neymar Juniors! Apple can create 115 such teams.

Brazilian footballer Neymar da Silva Santos Júnior became the most expensive footballer in August when Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) bought him from Barcelona in a £222 million deal.

> 577 Airbus A380s

An Airbus A380, the world’s largest jetliner, takes part in flying display, during the 52nd Paris Air Show at Le Bourget Airport near Paris, France June 25, 2017. REUTERS/Pascal Rossignol – RC1E222129D0

Apple can buy 577 Airbus A380 aircraft that cost over USD 436.9 million each.

Airbus is the world’s leading aircraft manufacturer of passenger airliners, ranging in capacity from 100 to more than 500 seats. Airbus has sold more than 16,300 aircraft to more than 380 customers worldwide.

2,672 Lockheed F-35 fighters

A Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II fighter jet is seen in its hanger at Patuxent River Naval Air Station in Maryland October 28, 2015. REUTERS/Gary Cameron – GF20000036669

The Lockheed F-35 is one of the world’s most premier fighters used by air forces. The fifth-generation air fighters feature advanced stealth, integrated avionics, sensor fusion and superior logistics support costs over USD 94.3 million each.

Apple can buy 2,672 of these F-35 fighters that are designed to defeat today’s most advanced threat systems both in the air and on the ground.

472 Eclipses (Abramovich’s luxury yacht)

Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich’s superyacht ?Eclipse? passes the cruise liner “Celebrity Eclipse” (L) after it left the Blohm + Voss shipyard in Hamburg April 16, 2010. The 170-metre-long luxury yacht is reported to be worth 400 million Euros ($540 million). REUTERS/Christian Charisius (GERMANY – Tags: SOCIETY) – GM1E64H03PB01
Apple can own 472 Abramovich’s luxury yacht, Eclipse using its offshore cash. The Eclipse is known as ‘the USD 1.5 billion yacht’, although she reportedly costs USD 500 million.
The Eclipse is owned by Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich, one of the richest people in the world.
Apart from Apple, the leaked documents contain details of several others including the Queen’s private estate, an aide of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Irish rock star Bono.

Paradise Papers refer to 1.4 terabytes of data leaked from a Bermuda-based Appleby and Singapore-based Asiaciti which allegedly helped companies to set up offshore firms with low or zero tax rates and 19 other tax havens.

It is the second-largest data leak in the world, next to Panama Papers leak that happened in 2016.


India ranks 19th out of 180 countries in terms of the number of names with 714 Indians who are named in the list, according to The Indian Express which investigated the documents in collaboration with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) and German newspaper Suddeutsche Zeitung.

Also Read: Paradise papers: Even the Queen of England’s estate parked as much as Rs 85 crore in offshore tax havens

The record entails names of famous Indian personalities, corporate leaders, and politicians such as Amitabh Bachchan, Karti Chidambaram, Niira Radia, Vijay Mallya, Jayant Sinha, Dr Ashok Seth and Hinduja Brothers.