Tim Cook praises China and calls its relationship with Apple “symbiotic”
What happened now? With chip-related export controls and tensions over Taiwan, U.S.-China relations are at their lowest ebb, but that hasn’t stopped many tech top executives, including Apple CEO Tim Cook, from praising the country at the China Development Forum. 2023. .
Cook was one of more than 50 senior executives and government officials from around the world who attended the government-sponsored event in Beijing, the first since it was suspended due to the Covid outbreak. Wall Street Magazine reports that Qualcomm CEO Christiano Amon was also in attendance, as were executives from Samsung, Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer, Procter & Gamble, Mercedes-Benz, Shell, and more.
China remains the main market for Apple. Even though iPhone sales were down year-over-year, total sales in China last quarter were $23.9 billion in Apple’s revenue. “Innovation in China is growing fast and I believe it will continue to grow,” Cooke was quoted as saying by The Paper news outlet. “Apple and China[…]grew up together and so it was a symbiotic relationship.”
Cook also announced that Apple is increasing its donations to the China Development Research Fund to $14.5 million, half of which will go to fund digital education in underdeveloped areas of China.
“We are honored to deepen our understanding of Chinese education, support careers and create opportunities for young learners in rural areas,” said Cook.
Due to disruptions due to Covid and rising tensions with the US, Apple has been trying for years to reduce its reliance on China – in 2021, the country accounted for 95.3% of Cupertino’s global manufacturing operations. Due to the pandemic, Apple has moved some iPhone production to India in 2022. , the same year that controversial Covid restrictions sparked strikes at Foxconn’s Zhengzhou factory, resulting in a shortage of iPhone 14 units.
Cook also used his talk to talk about education and the need for young people to learn programming and critical thinking skills. The Apple boss visited Apple stores in the country during his stay, much to the delight of Chinese social media.
Apple has a history of bowing down to the Chinese government, having previously removed thousands of games, apps and VPNs from its App Store at the behest of local officials. He also removed the protest app and news app Quartz during pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong.
A 2021 report claimed that Cook signed a secret $275 billion investment deal with China to help Apple succeed in the country.