Apple CEO Tim Cook. Photo File
Apple CEO Tim Cook. Photo File

Apple CEO Cook stresses ties with China

Invests in rural education
Apple counts on Greater China for about 20% of its sales.
Apple chief executive officer Tim Cook returned to China to attend the high-profile China Development Forum to celebrate the iPhone maker’s ties to the region even as tensions grow between Beijing and Washington.

Apple and China have grown together, Cook said during an onstage discussion on technology and education at the state-sponsored showcase on Saturday. He highlighted the company’s concerns about the abuse of technology, given recent strides in artificial intelligence and augmented reality.

"This has been a symbiotic kind of relationship that I think we both enjoyed," Cook said.

Apple plans to increase spending on its rural education programme in China to 100 million yuan (US$15 million), he said, adding that it was important for children to hone both their coding and critical thinking skills in a fast-changing world.

Innovation will only speed up, and creators of technology need to use them in the "right way" to help humanity, not work against it, he said. "I think that’s a tremendous responsibility for any creator, is to do that."

Earlier in his trip, Cook stopped at an Apple retail store in Beijing with Deirdre O’Brien, the company’s retail chief, and other executives.

Government

During his trip to China, Cook also met with Chinese government officials.

The meetings, along with his attendance at the event, are crucial as Cook seeks to maintain a mutually beneficial relationship with the Chinese government. Apple builds the vast majority of its products in China, boosting the local economy, and has unique access to the Chinese market, including the ability to operate dozens of stores, sell products and run multiple online services.

Since Cook orchestrated an expansion in China about a decade ago, the Apple’s products have grown in popularity in the region.

The company now counts on Greater China for about 20% of its sales. Led by the iPhone, the Cupertino, California-based company has brought in over US$40 billion in China-based revenue each year since 2015 and nearly reached US$75 billion in China sales in the last fiscal year. – Fin24/Bloomberg

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Allgemeine Zeitung 2023-05-28

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