Daily Management Review

Apple's Tim Cook will Meet Chinese Government Officials in his Soon to be Made Visit to the Country


Apple's Tim Cook will Meet Chinese Government Officials in his Soon to be Made Visit to the Country
At a time when it is facing some setbacks in its most important overseas market, Apple Inc Chief Executive Tim Cook plans to visit Beijing later this month to meet high-level government officials, reports news agency Reuters quoting a source familiar with the matter.
Even though Cook has been a frequent traveler to China after he took over the helm of Apple five years ago, his latest visit comes during a critical period.
The U.S. technology giant has been facing a flurry of problems in recent weeks in its second-largest market after the United States from weakening smartphone sales to the loss of an iPhone trademark dispute and the suspension of some of its online entertainment services.
As the company reported last week its first quarterly revenue drop in 13 years, this has raised concerns over Apple's growth momentum.
Citing China's economic slowdown and worries about whether the government could make it very difficult for Apple to conduct business, last week, billionaire activist investor Carl Icahn said in an interview with cable television network CNBC that he had sold his entire stake in Apple.
Reuters reports that Cook plans to meet senior government and Communist Party leaders - including officials in charge of propaganda during his China visit.
Apple did not respond to Reuters' requests for comments.
Apple has been hit by the attempts of the Chinese government’s ongoing campaign to control Web content and ensure localization of data storage in recent weeks.
Following Beijing's introduction of regulations in March imposing strict curbs on online publishing, particularly for foreign firms, Apple's online book and film services were shut in China last month, cutting off a potential source of income.
China is also trying to shift away from its dependence on foreign technology under President Xi Jinping especially in critical sectors like banking and insurance. The new regulations have been staunchly opposed by foreign businesses which, they claim threaten to cut them out of such industries.
Sparking outcry from overseas governments and business groups, harsh censorship also has shut down the online services of many foreign tech companies.
Icahn said in the interview with CNBC last week that the Chinese government could "come in and make it very difficult for Apple to sell there".
There is raised skepticism among some Chinese officials following Apple's refusal to cooperate with the U.S. authorities to provide source code to help them crack open the iPhone that was linked to a mass shooting in San Bernardino.
According to Apple's top lawyer, the company has refused a request by the Chinese authorities in the last two years to hand over its source code.
There was a drop of 26 percent last quarter in the business revenues of Apple from Greater China, which includes Hong Kong and Taiwan and despite this and the growing concerns over its China business, Cook has been optimistic.
"I see China as may not have the wind at our backs that we once did but it's a lot more stable than what I think is the common view of it. We remain really optimistic on China," he said during the company's earnings call last week.