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His positive comments about China / Criticism of the Apple CEO

2024-03-27 17:17:00, Tech CNA

His positive comments about China / Criticism of the Apple CEO

Tim Cook, the chief executive of US tech giant Apple, is facing criticism in the United States for glowing comments he made about China during a recent visit to try to boost sales of iPhone smartphones.

Mr Cook was in Shanghai for the opening of Apple's biggest store in China on Friday and met with political and business representatives. He hailed China as a "vibrant and dynamic" country, in comments widely quoted by state media and Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying.

The construction of the new Apple store took seven years and cost more than 11 million dollars. It is said to be the second largest Apple store in the world and the largest in Asia, with around 150 employees.

On Thursday evening, at least 12 hours before the scheduled opening, a long line of people had formed in front of the store.

In addition to showing their loyalty to Apple products by purchasing various Apple devices, customers rushed to take photos with Mr. Cook, who was present at the store's opening ceremony.

Dan Ives, a technology analyst in the United States, said on the X platform that Mr. Cook's trip to China shows that Apple will continue to pay attention to the Chinese market.

"Apple actually increased its investment and presence in China last year," he said, "and to this point Mr. Cook has been in China since last week on an important visit to lay the groundwork for the future of Apple in China. He reaffirmed Apple's strategy for China."

Chinese media reported Monday that Apple will partner with Chinese technology company Baidu to provide artificial intelligence capabilities for iPhones sold in China this year. Baidu company has not confirmed these announcements.

His positive comments about China / Criticism of the Apple CEO

However, not all Chinese people love Apple. A video that has gone viral on Chinese social media shows a Chinese woman wearing yellow clothes, a baseball cap and a mask shouting at people queuing at Apple's new store the night before it opened, " You worship and favor foreign things."

A person in line asked him, "Do you know how many jobs Apple creates in China every year?"

The woman replied: "We don't need that, we have our own Huawei!"

This reflects the challenges facing Apple in China. iPhone shipments in China fell about 33% in February from a year earlier, according to official data, marking a second consecutive month of fewer shipments.

Frank Lee from the company "Blue Ocean Capital" in Beijing, said that most Chinese iPhone users have a good experience with Apple products, so they continue to be loyal customers of the company. However, there is a clear trend of declining sales of Apple products due to competition with domestic Chinese companies.

"I think that Apple opening a store in Shanghai will play a certain role in increasing its sales in China, but it cannot fundamentally change the general trend of the slow decline in the use of iPhone phones in China," Mr. Lee told VOA.

However, Mr Cook expressed his confidence in the Chinese market. "I love the people and culture of China. Every time I come here, I am reminded that everything is possible here," he told Chinese media.

Mr Cook's comments have been criticized as praising the Chinese government's arrogant treatment of private enterprises.

Jonathan Eyal of the Royal Institute for Defense and Security Studies in Britain wrote on the X platform:

"Anything is possible" in China, says Apple's Tim Cook. Including arrest and expropriation. And losing the market with a stroke of a bureaucratic pen."

Analysts say Mr Cook's comments were not sincere. In recent years, Apple has expanded its operations in India. Last year, the first iPhones made in India were introduced to the global market with the iPhone 15 model.

Eli Friedman, a professor of the global labor market at Cornell University, says the mutually beneficial relationship between American companies and Beijing no longer carries diplomatic weight.

"The old consensus that American corporations can exploit Chinese workers and China can benefit from technology transfer is not working. I promise you that offering some incentives from China to the Apple company will not help stabilize US-China relations," he said./ VOA

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