Apple CEO Tim Cook stresses ties With China at Beijing event

Apple CEO Tim Cook

BEIJING: Tim Cook, the CEO of Apple Inc., travelled back to the country to attend the prestigious China Development Forum in an effort to highlight the company’s connections to the area despite the escalating hostilities between Beijing and Washington.
During an onstage talk on technology and education at the state-sponsored showcase on Saturday, Cook said that Apple and China have developed together. He emphasised the company’s worries about technology misuse, especially in light of recent advancements in augmented reality and artificial intelligence.
Cook stated that the connection had been mutually beneficial and that both of them had liked it. According to him, Apple intends to spend an additional 100 million yuan ($15 million) on its rural education initiative in China. He also stressed the significance of developing children’s coding and critical thinking skills in light of the world’s rapid technological advancement.
Technology developers must use their creations in the “correct way” to benefit humanity rather than harm it, he warned, as innovation will only quicken. “To do that, in my opinion, is a big obligation for any creator.”

Cook previously visited an Apple retail location in Beijing together with senior executives and the company’s head of retail, Deirdre O’Brien.
Cook also had meetings with representatives of the Chinese government when he was there. The meetings and Cook’s participation in the event are essential if he is to continue to have a positive working relationship with the Chinese government. Apple has a unique access to the Chinese market, including the capacity to operate dozens of storefronts, sell items, and manage several online services. This helps the local economy. Apple also makes the great majority of its products in China.

Cook oversaw a growth in China approximately ten years ago, and since then, Apple products have been more well-liked there. Now, 20% of the company’s sales come from Greater China. The Cupertino, California-based corporation, powered by the iPhone, has generated over $40 billion in China-related income annually since 2015 and almost topped $75 billion in China sales in the most recent fiscal year.

But there are signs that the bond is eroding. Apple has had a robust and stable manufacturing presence in China for more than 20 years, anchored on Foxconn, formerly known as Hon Hai Precision Industries Co. The US-China trade war and plant closures brought on by Covid have, however, caused production problems for the corporation in recent years, delaying the release of items like the 2022 MacBook Air and reducing the number of iPhone 14 Pros available.

Due to the agreement, Apple is now under domestic criticism for adhering to Chinese censorship and data storage restrictions. In response to Beijing’s worries, the business has recently made changes to its devices, such as restricting the AirDrop file-sharing feature in a way that is widely perceived as a tactic to quell demonstrations.

The Chinese economy, which is anticipated to expand at a subdued rate of 5% this year, may be further stressed by Apple’s continuous efforts to move some production outside of China. High-end manufacturing is something that Chinese President Xi Jinping has consistently stated he wants to promote.