Apple Boss Tim Cook Stays Low-Key in Busy Visit to China–Caixin Global

What happened: Besides shaking hands with Bytedance’s founder and visiting a Beijing middle school on his latest China trip, Tim Cook also found time to meet with Shanghai government official Li Qiang. According to a Chinese statement, the two discussed cooperation between the city and Apple. The official statement also expressed the hope that the company would take a bigger role in bringing the US and China closer together. According to at least one source, however, the political meeting wasn’t Cook’s main objective for the trip – instead, it was his responsibilities as the board director at Tsinghua University’s School of Economics and Management.

Why it’s important: So far, Apple hasn’t been affected by the massive tariffs leveled on both sides of the ongoing US-China trade war. However, President Trump has stated that he wants companies such as Apple to move their manufacturing out of China. On the other side, the Chinese government previously encouraged US companies to take a proactive role in protecting their interests in the country. Caught in the crossfire, Cook is undoubtedly feeling the pressure; the China market still makes up a significant portion of Apple sales, despite the latest iPhone’s disappointing performance.

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Bailey Hu

Bailey Hu is based in China’s hardware capital, Shenzhen. Her interests include local maker culture, grassroots innovation and how tech shapes society, as well as vice versa.