“Apple Inc.’s Chief Executive Tim Cook defended globalization in a rare public speech in China, as his company faces political pressure in the U.S. to bring back factories,” Eva Dou writes for Dow Jones Newswires. “It was his first time speaking at the China Development Forum, an annual conference sponsored by China’s central government. It came as part of a broader charm offensive in China as Apple announced two new research centers… For Western executives, speaking at the annual China Development Forum is seen as a move to improve government relations with Beijing, as many senior Chinese officials attend the event.”

“Mr. Cook said in his hourlong session that globalization ‘in general is great for the world,’ but gains aren’t evenly distributed within countries. While he said this was a problem, he cautioned against countries retreating from globalization as a response,” Dou writes. “‘I think the worst thing would be to — because it didn’t help everyone — is to say it’s bad and do less of that,’ said Mr. Cook. ‘I think the reality is you can see that countries in the world… that isolate themselves, it’s not good for their people.'”

“Mr. Cook’s comments on privacy Saturday reflected the sometimes awkward line that U.S. companies walk as they try to do business in China. In the U.S., Apple has clashed publicly with the Federal Bureau of Investigation over its demands for the company to help decrypt an iPhone’s data. China last year passed a controversial cybersecurity law that requires companies to provide technical assistance to authorities in investigations,” Dou writes. “Mr. Cook also said data privacy was one of the company’s values, although he stopped short Saturday of criticizing decryption demands from governments as Apple has previously in the U.S.”

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