Apple boss Tim Cook makes surprise China visit



Apple CEO Tim Cook made an unexpected trip to China, where he interacted with gamers in Chengdu. Despite the positive atmosphere, Apple is grappling with declining iPhone demand in the country, as indicated by analysts. This visit marks Cook’s second trip to China this year; previously in March, he emphasized Apple’s symbiotic relationship with China, a pivotal manufacturing hub. The company’s operations in the country have been complicated by challenges related to Covid and US-China tensions.

During his visit, Cook visited Apple’s Taikoo Li store and met young players of Tencent’s Honour of Kings online battle game. He expressed his excitement about the game’s global success and encouraged Chinese developers to create content for Apple’s new Vision Pro augmented reality headset, which would involve a Chinese manufacturer.

This year marks Apple’s third decade in China. Cook, who has been Apple’s CEO since 2011, played a significant role in Apple’s embrace of Chinese manufacturing, although the relationship has experienced fluctuations in recent years. Covid-related restrictions impacted production in China, and geopolitical tensions with the US exacerbated supply chain concerns. Consequently, Apple has been expanding its production in India.

Analysts, speaking to Bloomberg, noted that sales of Apple’s latest iPhone haven’t matched previous models. They attributed this to diminishing demand in China and intensified competition from rivals. Stringent US export controls on advanced technology have posed challenges for Chinese companies like Huawei to produce models comparable to the iPhone. However, Huawei’s successful launch of the Mate 60 Pro phone in August, featuring advanced Chinese-made chips, indicated that competitors were catching up.

Cook’s visit coincided with other tech advancements in China. Baidu, a Chinese tech giant, unveiled its latest Ernie AI model, Ernie 4.0, which it claimed was on par with OpenAI’s GPT-4 system. At the launch event led by Baidu CEO Robin Li, the AI demonstrated its capabilities by writing a martial arts novel and creating advertising materials. Despite the achievements, AI developers in China face strict restrictions.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Exit mobile version