Tim Cook’s “Very Open” Talk on the future of Apple in China

Apple’s CEO Tim Cook had a “Very open, fascinating and Impressive” meeting with Chinese vice Premier, days after hacking of iCloud servers in China. Although Cook never revealed the details of the Beijing meeting, reports have it that Cook raised a host of security and privacy issues, in addition Apple’s plan to introduce Apple Pay in the world most populous Nation.

In an interview with state’s news agency, Xinhua, Cook described China as “key Market” to the success of the US iPhone manufacture. “China is a really key market for us,” said the CEO, “Everything we do, we are going to work it here.”

Asked about the hacking incident on Apple’s iCloud reported by Greatfire security firm, Cook avoided pointing fingers at the Chinese government. He said Apple was “aware of intermittent organized network attacks” but did not give details on the identities of the organized networks.

Cook also revealed Apple’s interest in introducing its payment service, in the Chinese market.  He pointed out that the Tech giant was working to understand the requirement of introducing Apple Pay in China before meeting with Local banks, merchants and Local carriers.

“We want to bring Apple Pay to China,” he said, “I’m convinced there will be enough people that want to use it. It’s going to be successful.”

Cook oozed confidence with the prospects of Apple Watch in the Chinese market, describing it as an “enormous” invention with endless possibilities. “You are going to wonder how we ever lived without it,” said Cook, “That’s the real test of a great product: you wonder how you live without it. And I think that’s going to happen to the Apple Watch.”

Apple watch is expected to face stiff competition from Microsoft smartwatch which will launch in a few weeks. However, Cook was confident Apple watch will eventually carry the day. He also taunted Wal-Mart to launch its CurrentC payment service to compete with Apple Pay.

Great China is an important segment for Apple. Besides being the third largest consumer market after Europe and America, it is Apple’s fastest growing market, contributing over 16% of total revenues. With the Western markets getting saturated, it’s not surprising Apple pegs its future to the success in the Asian markets which is dominated by Google’s android.

China market is dominate d by Samsung with a 23% market share, followed by China’s Xiaomi at 21% and lastly apple curving a 16% share according to a survey conducted by Kantar Worldpanel ComTech in January this year. However, market analysts expect the growing Chinese middle class to shore up demand for Apple products in the future.

Cook’s four-day visit which ended last Friday coincided with the fourth plenary session of the Central Committee of the Community Party of China (CPC). The Chinese vice Premier is a member CPC committee. Cook also revealed of a “lightning” visit to Foxconn factory in Zhengzhou city, capital of central China’s Henan Province.

Cook supervised the production of newly launched iPhones 6 at the Foxconn plants. The factory, dedicated to producing Apple’s products employs over 300,000 workers with an output target of 120 million iPhones this year. He also revealed Apple’s future plans to increase its stores in China from the current 14 to 40 in the next two years.

Top/Featured Image: By Valery MarchiveWikipedia (https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Tim_Cook_2009_cropped.jpg)

Lawrence Mwangi Lawrence is a technology and business reporter. He has freelanced for a number of tech sites and magazines. He is a web-enthusiast, with a special interest in Online security, Entrepreneurship and Innovation. When not writing about tech he can be found in a Tennis court or on a chess board.
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