Tim Cook meets with China’s commerce minister to discuss supply chain, regulation, and more

As part of his trip to China this week, Apple CEO Tim Cook met with the country’s commerce minister Wang Wentao on Monday. This meeting followed Cook’s attendance at the state-sponsored China Development Forum on Saturday, which focused on supply chain, innovation, and more.

According to a report from Reuters, Cook and Wentao met to discuss Apple’s continued “development in China.” The two sides apparently focused on “stabilizing industrial and supply chains” in the country. Wentao also reportedly emphasized to Cook that “China is willing to provide a good environment and services for foreign companies including Apple.”

“China will unswervingly promote high-level opening-up, steadily promote rules, regulations, management, standards and other institutional opening-up,” according to a statement from China’s ministry. “The two sides exchanged views on issues such as Apple’s development in China and the stabilization of the industrial and supply chains.”

Cook’s meeting with Wentao came after he attended the China Development Forum on Saturday. Speaking on a panel at the event, Cook praised the “symbiotic” relationship between Apple and China, as well as the company’s vast “supply chain operation” in the country. He stopped short of addressing tensions between the US and China and instead said that China’s “innovation is developing rapidly.”

Apple is actively pursuing ways to reduce its reliance on China for manufacturing, including investing heavily in new production facilities in India along with its partner Foxconn.

Apple, like many companies, was significantly impacted by China’s strict COVID-19 guidelines over the last several years. Most notably, the iPhone 14 Pro was completely unavailable for much of the holiday shopping season last year. These shortages are believed to have cost the company at least $6 billion in revenue, leading to a rare year-over-year decline in iPhone revenue.

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Naveen Kumar

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