By Benjamin Cost
Apple CEO Tim Cook recently visited Beijing’s flagship store and met with officials to reportedly discuss expansion in China, Apple’s second largest consumer base and the globe’s biggest mobile market.
Carolyn Wu, Apple’s China spokeswoman said in a Reuters report that Cook is here to meet with government officials with an eye on greater investment and growth here.
His exact motives behind the visit, however, remain under wraps – though it’s not out of the question that Cook may have wanted to outshine his late predecessor, who never made the trip to China.
But Cook will likely discuss Apple’s most looming issues, including concerns over the expansion of their rival, Samsung, Apple’s delay in releasing the latest iPad, and forming a partnership with China Unicom, China’s largest mobile firm. Apple is also enmeshed in a fierce copyright war with the Chinese tech company, Proview, over the iPad trademark:
The long-running dispute with Proview – a financially weak technology company that claims to have registered the trademark – is making its way through Chinese courts and has threatened to disrupt iPad sales.
Proview executives declined to comment on Tuesday over whether they will be meeting Cook. No meetings have been set so far between the Apple chief and the Chinese company’s lawyers and creditors, sources familiar with the situation said.
“He should be here to also understand more of the iPad issue and handle the situation,” said one source close to Proview.
Apple has not launched its new iPad in China yet, so people have been smuggling the new gadget from as far away as the United States and Australia. The new iPad has also been smuggled in from Hong Kong.
To top off Apple’s housekeeping list, Cook should probably address the questionable working conditions at Foxconn, Apple’s China-based iPhone and iPad production company which recently drew heat for allegedly running sweatshops and whose practices have been deemed so shady they were parodied in a series of video games. And if there’s some extra layover time on the trip, it might be wise to look into that whole iPhone app leading people to brothels in Dongguan fiasco.
More from Shanghaiist on Apple here.