Apple CEO Tim Cook visits China, meets with official
By Michael Kan
Apple CEO Tim Cook is visiting China and met with a government official on Tuesday, about 10 months after his last visit to the country.
Cook met with Miao Wei, the head of China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology. The two discussed the global smartphone industry, new trends in innovation and Apple’s developing business in China, according to a brief posting on ministry’s website.
Cook has been to China before, coming to the country in 2010 as Apple’s chief operating officer to investigate worker suicides at iPhone manufacturer Foxconn. He came again last March for the first time as Apple’s CEO, visitingwith Chinese officials and touring a Foxconn factory.
An Apple spokeswoman could not be reached immediately for more information about Cook’s current visit.
China has become a vital player in Apple’s business, both as a market and as the site for producing iPhones and iPads through suppliers such as Foxconn, which employs more than 1.2 million workers. Over the years, Apple has faced increasing scrutiny due to Foxconn’s working conditions, which labor groups allege have caused worker suicides and led to theriot of thousands of employees at one factory in China back in September.
On Tuesday, Cook also met with the U.S. ambassador to China, Gary Locke, according to a Twitter message from Jim Sciutto, chief of staff for the U.S. Embassy in Beijing. During the visit, Cook said Apple’s stores in China are the company’s busiest in the world.
Last month, Apple launched its new iPads and the iPhone 5 in China. The company later said it sold more than two million iPhone 5s in China during the product’s first weekend launch.