Interview: Apple CEO expects China to become biggest market
BEIJING, Jan 10, 2013 (Xinhua via COMTEX) --
China is no doubt the apple of Tim
Apple's CEO, who is on a China visit this week and has been
impressed by the significance of its secondary market, said on
Thursday that new Apple products may possibly be launched in China
in the future.
"I would love that to happen. China is a very important
marketplace for us," said Cook in an exclusive interview with
Xinhua in Beijing.
"China is currently our second largest market. I believe it
will become our first. I believe strongly that it will," he said.
"We are growing very fast. We are continuing to invest in
retail stores here and will open many more over the next several
years. We have some great sites selected, our manufacturing base
is here, and we have incredible partners here. So it's a very very
important country to us."
Apple now has 11 retail stores in Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen,
Chengdu and Hong Kong. The one opened last October in the
commercial hub of Wangfujing in Beijing is the largest in Asia.
With Cook's ongoing visit including intensive meetings with
government officials, business partners, Apple employees and
customers, he described these encounters as "productive" and
The tech chief did not, however, disclose details about his
talks with China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology
and China Unicom, which is Apple's first business partner in
He said he enjoyed working with China Unicom, China Mobile and
China Telecom and praised their competence.
Not being an early bird to the Chinese market, Cook seems to
have tried hard to make up for missed opportunities. He has
visited China for three consecutive years as a senior Apple
"People around the world, regardless of culture, really want
the best products. I think they love that people at Apple create
products that make their lives easier and better. That's what we
try to do," he said. "I feel really good about our progress in
Cook did not respond to the latest rumor about launching
cheaper iPhones for some new emerging markets including China.
Instead, he tried to emphasize the suitability of all Apple
products for Chinese consumers.
"There are no Apple products that you would look at and say
they are not for China. I think they are all perfect for China,"
he said. "I strongly believe that people from all cultures and
countries want the best product. That's what we are trying to do."
On Foxconn, Apple's supplier whose factories in China have been
stranded in labor disputes, Cook responded by saying that Apple
has very strict codes of conduct for suppliers to abide by, and
"if they don't, we won't do business with them."
According to Cook, Apple audits deep into its supply chain to
make sure that its suppliers are following. And it has tried to go
beyond auditing and introduce programs that Apple believes can
really changes lives, like education.
"We care very deeply about every worker that touches an Apple
product, whether they are making it, selling it, serving it or
marketing it. We hold ourselves to a very high standard there,"
said the CEO.
He recalled his visit last March to the iPhone production line
at Foxconn's Zhengzhou technology park. He toured dorms, learned
about workers' living arrangements and how they felt about their
Apple is providing college education in the factories. Cook
described meeting with workers who benefited as "some of the best
times of my entire life."
With 80,000 employees, Apple generated a net income of over 41
billion U.S. dollars in the fiscal year of 2012.
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