Apple chief Tim Cook steps up charm offensive in China

“Tim Cook was all smiles at the Chaoyang Future School in Beijing on Wednesday, watching high school students use Apple Pencils on iPads,” Anna Fifield reports for The Washington Post. “Local media reports noted that Cook seemed ‘in a very good mood’ — perhaps with some surprise. After all, these are trying times to be an American company operating in China, let alone an American tech giant that counts on China for contract manufacturing and sales.”

“Although Apple largely dodged the tariffs President Trump imposed on Chinese imports last month, it is still caught in the middle of the increasingly acrimonious trade war,” Fifield reports. “The Chinese government has repeatedly, and not very subtly, suggested that American corporate leaders such as Cook should help broker a solution to the trade war by talking sense to Washington.”

“Then there is a recent Bloomberg News report that tech companies including Apple and found Chinese surveillance chips in their Chinese-made servers. Both companies have strongly denied the report,” Fifield reports. “Into the middle of this comes Cook… Apple spokeswoman declined to comment on whether he will meet with the Chinese president — as he did during his visit this time last year. She also declined to divulge what else was on his schedule or how long he will be in China. Regardless, Cook’s top priority this week is remaining in China’s good books.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take:

In life, there’s a yin and a yang and a balance. And when you don’t have balance, you have comedy. — George Lopez

I’m cognizant that in both the U.S. and China, there have been cases where everyone hasn’t benefited, where the benefit hasn’t been balanced. My belief is that one plus one equals three. The pie gets larger, working together. — Apple CEO Tim Cook, March 24, 2018

At least half of the popular fallacies about economics come from assuming that economic activity is a zero-sum game, in which what is gained by someone is lost by someone else. But transactions would not continue unless both sides gained, whether in international trade, employment, or renting an apartment. — Thomas Sowell, June 14, 2006

David Rubenstein: US-China trade dispute is a ‘skirmish, not a war’ – October 9, 2018
Trump administration to spare some Apple products including Apple Watch, AirPods, and HomePod from latest China tariffs – September 17, 2018
China’s stock markets down as President Trump said to ready new tariffs – September 17, 2018
Cramer: Here’s why China won’t boycott Apple as part of its trade war with the US – August 7, 2018
Apple could be used as a ‘bargaining chip’ in the trade war, Chinese state-run media warns – August 7, 2018
Why the US-China trade war may not have much impact on Apple – July 17, 2018
Apple launches $300 million China Clean Energy Fund – July 13, 2018
What trade war? Markets shrug off US-China dueling tariffs – July 6, 2018
U.S. President Trump puts tech in trade war crosshairs with planned curb on China investment – June 25, 2018
The Trump administration told Apple it would not place tariffs on iPhones assembled in China – June 19, 2018
Chinese stocks end at 2-year low, Apple suppliers sink on trade-war concerns – June 19, 2018
Why Apple CEO Tim Cook is acting like tech’s top diplomat – June 18, 2018
Apple CEO Tim Cook doesn’t expect a full-blown trade war between the U.S. and China – June 5, 2018
President Trump and Apple CEO Cook meet at White House with trade the focus – April 25, 2018
Apple CEO Cook to meet with President Trump – April 25, 2018
Why Apple stock can withstand a Chinese trade war – April 5, 2018
Apple CEO Tim Cook heads to China as President Trump orders 25 percent tariffs on up to $60 billion in Chinese imports – March 23, 2018
BoA Merrill Lynch: Apple is prepping a ‘foldable’ iPhone; U.S. and China trade tensions not an issue for Apple – March 23, 2018
Designed in California. Assembled in China. How Apple’s iPhone skews U.S. trade deficit – March 21, 2018
President Trump blocks Broadcom-Qualcomm deal over China concerns – March 13, 2018
Elon Musk sides with President Trump on trade with China – March 8, 2018
Analyst: President Trump’s tariff impact on Apple would be just a ’rounding error’ – March 7, 2018


  1. President Trump is creating better deals for the country he leads around the world and not even Pipeline Timmy can derail him.

    iMac, AirPods, AirPower, HomePod, Mac Pro… Pipeline can, and has, and will, screwed them all up. He holds now sway over President Trump. He and his minions gave 95% of their political contributions to the LOSER.

    It’s time for decades of imbalance created by feckless politicians of all stripes (mostly Democrat Party morons) to be balanced by President Trump!

    MAGA. Trump-Pence 2020. God bless, America!

  2. Yes, all the Apple products you mentioned Cook has seriously mismanaged and some totally neglected. It should be obvious to everyone that Cook only cares about profits and pleasing Wall Street and the BOD to keep his job. His presentations are painful to watch, he has no heart and soul all words seems forced.

    Bottom line: There are many better professionals out there to put idle billions to work to Make Apple Great Again! …

    1. Let’s try to be real. Because Tim heads the first trillion-dollar publicly-traded company, he acquired serious cred. True, Wall Street doesn’t quite understand Apple but despite their perennial discounts Apple rules anyway. When you get to the megabillions, investors become the defining variable, and (it pains me to say this) at this point Steve Jobs would likely have made the course corrections that Tim Cook has done. He wouldn’t have liked it, but he would have gone along because when you are as rich as Croesus you no longer are your own man – you are ruled by your subjects.

      That being said, Jobs would still have made a difference because he could always decipher the handwriting on the wall before anyone else, and find new market openings. He’d have things in the works that Google never thought of. We could use more of that kind of thinking now, instead of the disappointing me-too attitude that makes Apple seem like everyone else.

      1. “He’d have things in the works that Google never thought of. We could use more of that kind of thinking now, instead of the disappointing me-too attitude that makes Apple seem like everyone else.”

        Totally AGREE and good thoughts. But you and I know Cook is as creative as wet particle board. Therefore, to keep his job it’s all about making money now and appeasing the board and shareholders. Greed replaces creative brilliance.

        It is what it is, but with that greed focus ALWAYS forefront, creativity and risk taking for new products are the first casualties that we wish were different. Cook seems he does not have a pair or the will to see creative risks through, at least still unproven up to this point. Hell, he won’t even release watch sales numbers insulating himself from criticism is my guess.

        Apple is in no way, given all the money and resources at their disposal, more than ever, what they once were under Steve. Think of all the new products and innovation in seven years under Cook. The Watch Steve started and the late to market copycat expensive HomePod. Rest my case and that is truly the sad state of Apple TODAY. I take no pleasure in pointing out reality.

        Apple owner since my Lisa…

      2. Steve would never (yes, *never*) have bowed so deeply to Wall Street. Tim is 99% about the money. Steve was 90% plus about the products. Steve always viewed Wall Street as a necessary evil.

        Steve had the philosophy that went like this:
        1) make great products that will change people’s lives for the better (though, occasionally, Steve’s idea of better was not always what the general public realized was better)
        2) make those great products in a way that people will WANT to buy them
        3) based upon those products build a great company
        4) that great company will drive profits
        5) those profits will drive Wall Street and stockholder benefits

        Note that while Wall Street is last on what was Steve’s priority list, it is there.

        Tim’s priority list goes like this…
        1) Optimize Wall Street and stockholder benefits
        2) #1 requires building the most profitable and financially sound company
        3) #2 requires selling lots of products with high margins
        4) #3 requires selling products that people will buy and upgrade regularly

        Note that for Tim Wall Street and stockholders are #1 and profits are #2, and while products that people want to buy are at the bottom of the list, they are on the list.

        The problem with Tim is two fold: 1. He is has no priority (or maybe even interest) in creating new products that will be radically new and different. You’d get no Macintosh or iPod or iPhone out of Tim. 2. Margins must remain high to support his love affair with Wall Street. They will be driven higher and higher just like they were in the Sculley days.

        However, one thing people need to note and stop fantasizing about Steve Jobs: Steve extremely rarely came up with anything new by himself. He really wasn’t the inventive genius that many think he was. His greatest talent (probably better than anyone in the past few hundred years) was that he could see a product or idea presented to him and nearly instantly tell whether that product or idea was the future or a dead end.

        Steve did not invent the Apple I, nor the Apple ][. Woz did.
        Steve did not invent the Mac. A team of engineers showed the interface to him at Apple then he went to Xerox PARC and the rest is history.
        Steve did not invent the iPad. Others in Apple did.
        Steve did not invent the iPhone. Others in Apple did.

        However, in each case Steve saw something and realized, “That is the future.” Steve all but literally told the engineers and managers, “Bring me the future.” Then if Steve had the sense that what he was shown or told was the future, he used his atypical drive and personality to make them real and get people to see the future too.

        Steve could also see dead ends. We all loved our Newtons. But, Steve saw they were dead ends. How many (if any) people are still using their Palm Pilots?

    2. This is America. It is a capitalist country. Corporations exist to make profits. People invest in corporations to make money. A trillion dollars in stock value is a lot of money. The Apple Board of Directors and the shareholders who elect them are happy that Apple is making money. That’s why they pegged executive compensation to stock price and not to how many stars comments praising Tim Cook can win on MDN. Apple’s officers are legally bound by the priorities set by the Board. They don’t have any duty at all to placate whiners who don’t think profits are a reasonable corporate goal.

      I find it astonishing that so many posters here who claim to be conservative Republicans are so hostile to capitalism and free enterprise. Then again, I have found it astonishing how many other basic American principles they have been willing to jettison in their worship of raw power.

      1. “This is America. It is a capitalist country. Corporations exist to make profits. People invest in corporations to make money.”

        Yes indeed, Apple is all about making money now…

      2. As a board member and officer of a few companies (and having started a few) I can absolutely say that the following statement is untrue:
        “Apple’s officers are legally bound by the priorities set by the Board. ”

        Officers are required to run the company to the best of their ability and follow the general guidelines and precepts provided by the board. There is no *legal* requirement for officers to follow board directives. If officers don’t do what the board wants then the board fires them and gets new officers.

        There ARE legal requirements for “financial responsibilities” of both officers and board members. The responsibility is to not knowingly do something that significantly negatively impacts the stockholders.

        There is absolutely no legal requirement for the board or officers to maximize the stock price nor is there any legal requirement to maximize profits.

        The often stated comment that it’s the board’s and officer’s legal duty to make the stockholders as much money as realistically possible is, in a word, bullshit.

  3. So when does Tim agree to install back doors for Chinese iPhones?

    When does Tim agree to implement China’s social credit score system on American iPhones?

    People are people, but as a nation, China is immune to charm.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.