Apple Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook made his second visit to China in less than 10 months, after almost doubling retail outlets in the communist nation. Cook met the head of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology yesterday to talk about the development of China’s IT industry, global mobile communications and Apple’s business in China. He also met with Gary Locke, the current United States Ambassador to China. It’s not clear what exactly Cook is doing in China this time around and what he might have on his docket …
Cook’s latest visit to China comes less than a year after he made a relatively public tour across the country, including visit local Apple stores. During that stint, Cook met with a number of Chinese government officials. He also visited a Foxconn iPhone factory. Since then, the Cupertino, California-based company increased its number of stores in China and Hong Kong to 11 from six. Apple opened its first Chinese store in Beijing’s Sanlitun district in 2008. It now has three shops each in Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong, as well as ones in Chengdu and Shenzhen.
China is now an extremely important market for Apple. Still, the company has yet to offer the iPhone through the world’s biggest carrier, China Mobile, which last month said Apple needs to talk about “benefit sharing” to reach agreement. China Mobile will probably move to a fourth-generation wireless network based on LTE technology in the second half of this year, and the iPhone 5 may be offering on the new system. We will keep track on Tim Cook’s business trip to China, especially for any public appearance, so stay tune !
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