Apple CEO Tim Cook defends globalization, walks tightrope on privacy in rare public speech in China

“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.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take:

You have a different crowd every night, so you should do a different show to suit them. I tailor the show to their mood. — Jewel Kilcher

President Trump’s vision of massive U.S. Apple iPhone assembly hinges on robotics – March 17, 2017
Virginia becomes first U.S. state to legalize delivery robots – March 2, 2017
Chinese factory replaces 90% of human workers with robots; production rises by 250%, defects drop by 80% – February 7, 2017
Can President Trump bring Apple iPhone factories back to America? – February 4, 2017
Foxconn has 10 lights-out production lines, aims to fully automate entire factories – December 30, 2016
Apple iPhone production in the actually straightforward and not expensive – November 24, 2016
President-elect Trump tells Apple CEO Tim Cook that he’d like to see Apple make products in the U.S. – November 23, 2016
Could President Trump be the catalyst for an all-American iPhone? – November 18, 2016
Apple could make iPhones in the U.S.A. under President Trump, sources say – November 17, 2016
President Trump’s Made-in-America hurdle: Asia – November 16, 2016
Apple assembler Foxconn now has 40,000 ‘Foxbot’ robots working at factories in China – October 5, 2016
Apple supplier Foxconn replaces 60,000 factory workers with robots – May 25, 2016
Foxconn robots better, but still not precise enough to assemble Apple iPhones – December 5, 2014
Foxconn CEO disappointed with current-gen iPhone-assembling robots; next-gen ‘Foxbots’ in the works – September 22, 2014
Foxconn to deploy ‘Foxbot’ robots for iPhone assembly – July 7, 2014
Why Foxconn’s iPhone robots could create American jobs – February 2, 2014
Apple dives deeper into designing and inventing robots, other manufacturing tech – November 22, 2013
Robots made Apple switch to ‘Made in the U.S.A.’ Macs – December 11, 2012
Foxconn’s 2012 plan: More robots, no layoffs, zero suicides, new factories – November 22, 2011
Foxconn to replace some workers with 1 million robots within 3 years – July 31, 2011


    1. Only because in botvinnik’s warped mind the physical location of your birth must dictate your fate in life. Everyone born within the fence is pure and trustworthy (except the 80% people who disagree with his xenophobic positions). Anyone born outside the fence must be labeled a heathen and treated with utter contempt. Yeah, that’s what bully tribes do to show their superiority. Let’s not trade with anyone ever because we always know best. Good joke botvinnik.

      Every business on the planet knows that cooperation among all nations is imperative for the spread of freedom and prosperity for every one. When massive wealth or power disparities build up and no diplomacy occurs, then resentment and radicals will rise to become a threat to all. Diplomacy is a big part of the solution. Fences are not. Just ask the Texan landowners whose property rights are being trampled by the current administration’s eliminant domain theft of land to build unnecessary fences.

  1. It’s called being a hypocrite is what it is. He’s always eager to take on President Trump in the media and play SJW, yet he goes fully mute when it comes to China’s massive human rights issues. In the end, all Tim actually cares about is the cheap labor and his own bottom line, so he won’t dare say a word to jeopardize that.

    1. The biggest hypocrite of all is Trump, who uses xenophobic FUD arguments as an excuse for isolationism. He will quickly find out who holds real power in the USA — the moneyed class. As always. The interesting thing is that Trump, a self-proclaimed billionaire, has no friends in industry other than those who will use his inexperience and ineptitude to outflank the president and national law. Watch as Exxon magically gets the green light to do whatever it wants with the oil reserves of undemocratic nations under continued protection of the US military. Watch as Goldman Sachs is able to roll back any banking laws in order to consolidate its economic power even further. The list of undemocratic power grabs that will happen under a dope of a president who has no clue how the world works and whose only requirements of industry is that they make flattering pro-Trump speeches in public will be devastating to the citizens who depend on the president to protect them not just from the rare psychologically deranged terrorist (foreign and domestic) , but also economic justice, individual liberty, and justice on all fronts. Trump’s budget proposal shows he is willing to ignore 99% of citizens in order to build isolationist walls and strip away federal ability to oversee corporate globalists who don’t care about the USA.

      Cook is just like every other CEO. Short term profit is all that matters. He doesn’t answer to voters and has no interest in spreading prosperity in any nation. The unstated purpose of the modern corporation is to hoard wealth in the hands of its executives. The buyback program is Cook following the actions of Dell, getting rid of pesky investors who propose things like environmental and labor considerations being part of corporate governance.

      The USA is in for a dramatic fall when you have an inept president using doublespeak to distract the people while corporations just keep taking more of everything for themselves. News flash: Trump is a globalist. Look where he does business.

    2. Bullsit, RC. In the United States people and corporations have the right to question government actions and take disputes to the courts. That is one of the great things about this country – the Constitution and the rule of law. If Cook tried to play things the same way in China, then Apple might see its iPhone shipments suddenly halted, crippling the company. You have to be far more subtle in China. But, over time, I believe that the citizens of China will gradually gain more rights and greater freedom. The people will eventually throw off the chains of despotism.

      1. the other day we got into a heated discussion elsewhere but here I can support many of your thoughts and up voted your post. I believe that Apple can be a positive influence in many countries in China in labour laws etc.


        1. I am all in favor of more civil discourse. It starts with people opening their minds and letting go of the dogmatic defensiveness that plagues this forum. As long as people allow themselves to be guided by broad partisan platforms with political parties that are unwilling to compromise on any particular, then gridlock and extremism will continue.

          When did politics evolve into a religion? It has gotten to the point that you must adhere to every particular of the Republican or Democratic platform or be labeled a traitor. Why can’t I be a Republican who seriously believes in environmental protections and reduced military spending? Why can’t I be a Democrat who believes that some social programs need to be scaled back or eliminated, or that regulation reform can be a good thing?

          As long as we, the citizens and voters, allow ourselves to be pigeon-holed into two boxes – Republican and Democrat – we are the tools of the establishment. The political system should and must respond to us, not the reverse. I am not a Trump supporter, but I will admit that he tapped into the underlying voter angst that the government is not responsive to the people. His policies will not benefit most of the disaffected people that voted for him, but he did raise the visibility and recognition of the issue.

          1. “Why can’t I be a Republican who seriously believes in environmental protections and reduced military spending? Why can’t I be a Democrat who believes that some social programs need to be scaled back or eliminated, or that regulation reform can be a good thing?”

            We have traded bards in the past. That said, I have to say that is the best olive branch for both parties in a very long time and agree 100%.

            Hard to believe for some, but I am a lifelong independent, now closer to the Libertarian party and a former Green in my rowdy college days.

            Fiscal conservative, personal responsibility, law and order, strong military, gun rights, religion and borders.

            To twist some noodles out there and on the flip side of my coin: staunch environmentalist that protested in the past, staunch believer in human rights, rebuilding schools and inner cities, supporter of woman rights/equal pay and gay marriage to name a few.

            The definition box has not yet been built to put me in. Bottom line: l agree with the main thrust of your post.

            That said:

            “His policies will not benefit most of the disaffected people that voted for him, but he did raise the visibility and recognition of the issue.”

            🐂💩! That is your daily wish because of your politics. That is also a gambling prediction — no basis in fact.

            The guy has been in office for a little over 50 days. Give a break folks to a first-time rookie politician. Hammered 24/7 by the NY Slimes, Washed Post and the Counterfeit News Network. Shakes it off and moves forward.

            He does not have his cabinet approved at this point in time, unlike Obama, and faces daily Democrat establishment obstruction in Washington again and again, he fearlessly shakes if off — and moves forward.

            He has not signed any major legislation to judge him by, but he will. Your comments are partisan premature to be kind. I can assure you the Don does not care about nonsense noise and will not be cowed by the PC crowd. Stay tuned and I’m betting your wrong in the long run about President Trump.

            MAGA! … 🇺🇸

            1. You started out in a conciliatory fashion. Then you got highly defensive and partisan using the “label and disparage” name calling. Why is it so hard to admit that Trump has flaws and that he has displayed a number of them during his candidacy and first 50 days? Quit pretending that he is perfect and the only thing that stands in his way is “fake news.” News flash, most of it is fundamentally legitimate. Trump actually asserts a lot of things that are not true.

              It is not “my wish,” as you claim. I may not like Trump, but I *always* wish for this country to do better, regardless of the person or party in charge.

              I am willing to give Trump a “break,” but he needs to stop doing, tweeting, and saying stupid things.

              There are several reasons that Trump’s Cabinet has not been approved by this point. First of all, he has not even selected and fully vetted nominees for all of the Cabinet posts. Look up the data. Second, some of his actions and priorities have diverted focus away from the nominee process. The travel ban, for instance. The AHCA for another. And you should not even dare to go into “obstruction.” The previous eight years represented the most blatant and egregious display of sustained partisan obstructionism that I have witnessed in my five plus decades of existence. Members of the GOP made it clear that their partisan objective was to opposed anything and everything promoted by Obama, regardless of its merits or origins. The GOP even opposed ideas that they, themselves, had previously proposed and supported. So, yes, the Democrats in Congress have given the Republicans a bit of a hard time, but not nearly what they deserve and certainly not anything worth whining about or using as an excuse.

              He has not signed any legislation because he (and Congress) did not have any legislation ready to sign. Do not even pretend to blame that on the Democrats. You would think that after six years of carping over the ACA and screaming “repeal” that the GOP would have had a rock solid health care replacement plan ready to go on day 1. That is not the case.

              You final set of defensive paragraphs were triggered by one simple sentence in my post:

              His policies will not benefit most of the disaffected people that voted for him, but he did raise the visibility and recognition of the issue.

              But, in your highly partisan defensiveness, you failed to address the fact that some of the Administration’s early plans (the skinny budget and the AHCA, for example) have been judged to be harmful to the disaffected voters that squeaked Trump into the White House. Even now, the GOP is scrambling to make the AHCA seem more attractive to older citizens.

              I do not expect the POTUS to be cowed by anyone or care about noise. I *do* expect the POTUS to avoid being the source of a lot of noise. I am also dismayed that the POTUS frequently makes statements that undermine the credibility of the election system, the courts, the intelligence agencies, etc., except, of course, when someone agrees with him. He is way too sensitive and concerned with being “right,” even when he isn’t.

              You call me partisan. Read my post. Then read your post. Try to spin that.

            2. My post was two-fold. The most important part was agreeing with you regarding complex people with allegiances to both parties.

              Noted, you TOTALLY ignored that gem and NO comment. Fine.

              I did not think you had it in you anyway to drift away from your routine offense and defense of partisan attacks on President Trump. Also, fine.

              What I don’t appreciate is misinterpretation of my
              positions and my beliefs. I don’t fit into your liberal box. I don’t fit into your conservative box.

              Fair to say you are certainly not the only one, PreDrag and TX user, are engaged in a daily misinformation mission and much more intense, tedious and repeatedly inaccurate with cartoon stereotypes. I couldn’t care less. They can knock themselves out. Facts rule at the end of the day — not talking party points.

              I’m not going to bother to refute all of your misperceptions. Time is precious.

              But I will say agree with you the rookie president and politician has said a lot of dumb and inaccurate statements. Cringe at times as he shoots himself in the foot, time and time again.

              That said, his heart is in the right place. He is the supreme ruler of the populism people that absolutely LOVE him. Only FOX NEWS carried his enthusiastic Kentucky rally Monday night. Gee, what a biased media surprise. I see him learning on the job, fearless and will do the right thing for all the people and agree with you on that one … WE want the president to do WELL. 🇺🇸

            3. Goes, you describe yourself thusly:

              Fiscal conservative, personal responsibility, law and order, strong military, gun rights, religion and borders.

              To twist some noodles out there and on the flip side of my coin: staunch environmentalist that protested in the past, staunch believer in human rights, rebuilding schools and inner cities, supporter of woman rights/equal pay and gay marriage to name a few.

              I could describe myself in identical terms without any prevarication. My definition of a “strong military” and “gun rights” might differ a bit from yours. But we appear to be far more alike at the foundation than I ever would have imagined from your posts on this forum. You describe yourself as a lifelong independent but, on this forum, you frequently appeared to swim in the waters with Fwhatever and botty. Be careful with whom you school.

            4. Apologies, Mel. I just saw this and thanks for responding to the gem of my post.

              Right back at you: be careful of the Libtards and haters you swim with.

              I HATE NO ONE …

      2. I wish you were right, but it looks to me like the people are happy to allow despotism to grow unchecked as long as they have cheap gas and lots of disposable plastic junk in stores to buy. Consumerism has replaced freedom. Corporations are more powerful than churches or governments. So while quality of life varies, 90% of the people are economic slaves. Americans especially seem bitter about it and still they are dumb enough to hand the reigns of power to a billionaire who lies with every other breath and sells trickle down snake oil. Only a few percent of the world is really free — independently wealthy and no obligations they didn’t choose for themselves. I don’t see the people rising to change that anytime soon. Too lazy.

        1. “Consumerism has replaced freedom. Corporations are more powerful than churches or governments.”

          Yes sadly, you are right. NATFA has displaced the common citizen, economics, the church and everything we once hold dear. Sacrificed on the altar of one percenters GLOBAL PROFIT.

          The fearless change agent is fully aware. MAGA! … 🇺🇸

          1. In the immortal words of Reagan, there you GoeB again!

            Really? NAFTA is now the source of all evil?

            The Fwhatevers and botties on this forum call me a “libtard” (and worse), and automatically assume that would thus be on the side of protectionism. They would be wrong. The GOP has long claimed to carry the flag for free trade, so it must be truly galling for the Republican-led Congress to have to deal with Trump’s plans to pull back from free trade and institute massive tariffs. My personal opinion is that free trade is generally a good thing, overall. Like any other aspect of capitalism, it must be carefully watched and managed to avoid corruption and excesses that inevitably grow from the baser aspect of human nature.

            You started to sound so much more reasonable a couple of posts ago. Where did that GoeB go?

            1. Clinton passed NAFTA. Republicans enthusiastically supported it, as well.

              Worse job killing bill passed in the U.S. supported by BOTH parties. Is that reasonable enough? …

    3. It is also worth notice, RC, that Cook battled the Obama Administration regarding encryption and the right to security with respect to your personal data. Remember the multiple conflicts over accessing user data from iPhones?

      So it is not just Apple v. Trump…it is Apple v. Federal Government.

  2. Globalization has made the financial elite, who donate to politicians, very, very wealthy. I used to be one of them. I hate to say it , but I used to be one. But it has left millions of our workers with nothing but poverty and heartache.

    Our politicians took away from the people their means of making a living and supporting their families. Skilled craftsmen and tradespeople and factory workers have seen the jobs they love shipped thousands and thousands of miles away… This wave of globalization has wiped out totally, totally, our middle class. It does not have to be this way. We can turn it around and we can turn it around fast…

    The people who rigged the system are supporting Hillary Clinton because they know as long as she is in charge, nothing is going to change. The inner cities will remain poor. The factories will remain closed. The borders will remain open. The special interests will remain firmly in control. Hillary Clinton and her friends in global finance want to scare America into thinking small.

    And they want to scare the American people out of voting for the better future. And you have a great future, folks. You gave a great future. These people have given her tens of millions of dollars. My campaign has the absolute opposite message. I want you to imagine a much better life and a life where you can believe in the American dream again. Right now, you can’t do that.

    I want you to imagine how much better our future can be if we declare independence from the elites who led us from one financial and foreign policy disaster to another…

    Our original Constitution did not even have an income tax. Instead, it had tariffs emphasizing taxation of foreign, not domestic, production.

    Yet today, 240 years after the Revolution, we’ve turned things completely upside down. We tax and regulate and restrict our companies to death and then we allow foreign countries that cheat to export their goods to us tax-free. How stupid is this?

    Now, it’s time for the American people to take back their future… We are going to make America wealthy again.

    We are going to reject Hillary Clinton’s policy of fear and her policy of absolute nonsense, because it’s not working and it’s grossly incompetent, and we can’t take it any longer, and we’re not going to take it any longer.

    We are going to embrace the possibilities of change, but real change, not Obama change, real change.

    It’s time to believe in the future. It’s time to believe in each other. It’s time to believe in America again. This is how we are going to make America great again for all Americans, for all Americans. — Donald J. Trump, June 28, 2016

    Full text here.

    1. Wow…little T2T2 is drunk on rhetoric – just like the opposition you despise. And a fantacist to boot.
      Standout face/palm…
      “…financial elite…I used to be one”.
      Used to be one? Only last month he claimed to be worth more than $10B (Forbes estimate $3.6B) which puts him in the top 500 wealthiest people in the US….a financial elite by any definition.
      If you cannot see hypocrisy writ large…you are part of the problem.

    2. Donald Trump is a hero. Cook has finally outed himself as the globalist villain we knew him to be. Bring iPhone production back to the U.S., Americans will pay $40 more for them if they’re Made in the USA. It used to be a given that American companies were patriotic and put national interests first, now its a given that they can do whatever the hell they want and reap the benefits of the American market? Hell no!

    3. If Trump supports Ryan’s version of AHCA, then he is favoring the elites at the expense of the working class and the poor. The AHCA cuts taxes on the wealthy and “balances” that by forcing millions of poorand working class out of health insurance. Obamacare can be improved, but Ryancare is not an improvement.

  3. China: Criminal Nation. The usual inept and self-destructive garbage from their crap government.

    Meanwhile, here in Idiocracy: Despite the deceitful rhetoric, the driving force continues to be wages.
    • Are US workers going to be willing to be paid the slave wages Apple, via contractors, pays to Chinese workers? If not, then what?
    • And of course higher wages paid in manufacturing means higher costs to customers. Are customers willing to pay the higher prices that will result from bringing Apple manufacturing back to the USA.

    We know the answers to these questions. Have fun The Trump troup. (o_O) 🤡

  4. Globalization as currently practiced is largely a method to dodge high wages and taxation. Modern Corporations are welfare queens that expect special deals from every level of government to externalize costs- socialize the cost and privatize the profit.

    Globalization is also a huge contributor to the human carbon input into our atmosphere and oceans. Unfathomable quantities of fossil fuels are burned shipping shit around. Tell me how can one justify shipping oranges to the United States from China when we can grow them in California, Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico and Arizona? How about shipping dead animals frozen to China to be butchered and then shipping them re-frozen back to the US just to avoid US wages for meat processing? How much sense does shipping water from Fiji or France to the US make when 70% of the Earth’s surface is water?

    Notice how rigged our system is. Corporations can pick up and move easily but you as a citizen are bound to the nation of your birth like a fucking serf. Leave America and the IRS still wants a chunk of your earnings. Try to renounce your citizenship and you have to pay a fee that was recently increased strictly as a punitive thing. Corporations can zip money around the world in the blink of an eye, but American citizens are subject to currency controls under the guise of fighting money laundering.

    WHO PROVIDE CHEAP OR FREE OPERATING SYSTEMS TO SAMSUNG, ACER, ASUS, HTC, SONY, XIAOMI and thousands more corporations (to build PCs, tablets, phones, music players, home devices, car devices etc etc) are actually a bigger danger and probably take away more USA MANUFACTURING jobs than Apple by far !

    (go and think about the market share numbers for a minute… )

    yet Apple is the big fat hate target….

    1. like I pointed out before:

      Steve Jobs used to make Macs and Next computers in USA. Then when PC makers (mostly powered by Msft.) starting manufacturing in foreign countries it crushed the market.

      Jobs then hired Tim Cook from IBM Compaq to fix the supply chain. That is the reason why unlike the old days when Macs could be thousands more than a PC, iPhone are roughly equivalent to high end rival phones.

      Penalizing Apple with import taxes without stopping or taxing foreign imports (they have to be taxed higher as they have access to cheap labour overseas) etc is going to lead to Apple (USA’s No.1 corp) diminishing.

  6. I respect many of the commentators here and I don’t want a flame war but I have to point out that Globalization isn’t ONE SIDED.

    TWO THIRDS — i.e the majority of Apple’s (a USA corporation) — profits come from overseas. China is becoming as large a market for Apple products as USA. A lot of Apple money is left overseas sure but if smart politicians allow Apple to repatriate overseas money (already taxed overseas) without too high taxation Apple can start bringing in cash back and evening things out.

    Also the vast bulk of Apple employees , about 70,000 out of worldwide total of around 120,000 work in USA. Another 600,000 are employed in Apple’s USA suppliers and app developers. (think about this a bit, without overseas sales which is two thirds of Apple’s profits many of these jobs won’t exist ).

    Apple’s supply chain of course stretches around the world and many countries benefit.

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