In the midst of an increasingly bitter trade war between the U.S. and China, Apple CEO Tim Cook is visiting Shanghai and Beijing to promote Apple products in the communist nation.
The Washington Post reported that it’s not yet known if Cook is meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping, but what is clear is that the trip is all about Cook cozying up to communist officials.
Cook’s “top priority,” according to the Post, is “remaining in China’s good books.”
“Tim Cook has got to cozy up to the local customers, but more importantly, to local officials,” said Bryan Ma, a technology analyst at IDC, an international market research firm. “Part of the messaging that he is probably hoping to establish while he is here is to emphasize how important China is to his company.”
That message was received loud and clear in Shanghai.
Perhaps most shocking is the revelation that Cook – the CEO of an American company – is in the position of working on behalf of the Chinese to ease relations between the Asian country and the U.S.
“We are willing to . . . find mutual benefit and win-win results, and to inject new vitality into Shanghai’s development,” Li Qian, secretary of the Communist Party in Shanghai, said after meeting with Cook. But he made it clear that Apple must do its part on bilateral relations.
“We are hoping that Apple will play a bigger role in promoting exchanges and cooperation between Shanghai and the United States,” Li said, according to a statement from his office.
That paints Cook’s many visits to the White House in a new light. While the prevailing assumption may have been that Cook was meeting with President Trump and members of his administration to protect Apple, it appears the Chinese have enlisted Cook to do much more than that.
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Author: Jeff Bechdel
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