Apple CEO Tim Cook is currently visiting China, and while he is expected to meet with government officials there over increasing tensions between the Chinese government and Apple, the early part of his visit has been more enjoyable.
… Cook met with Chinese app developers at an Apple Store. The talk was hosted by Jean Lui, president of taxi company Didi Chuxing, of which Apple has invested $1 billion dollars. A plethora of Chinese app publishers were in attendance, including a Groupon-esque clone ‘Meituan’, photo app MeituPic, news provider Toutia.com, cooking app DayDayCook and game developer Tap4Fun (via CNBC).
Cook also tweeted a photo of himself taking a ride in a Didi Chuxing taxi, accompanied by Lui. The company is a ride-sharing service, similar to Uber, in which Apple is reported to have made a $1 billion investment. The company serves over 300 million users in China, and Apple is believed to have invested in it as part of its much-rumored Project Titan program to develop an “Apple Car.”
"Taxi!" Caught a cab in Beijing this morning with Didi Chuxing's Jean Liu. pic.twitter.com/Sl2xnzXtNY
— Tim Cook (@tim_cook) May 16, 2016
Cook is expected to meet with government officials later this week, and is expected to discuss the chilly relationship between his company and the Chinese government. Among the subjects likely to be discussed, is the potential reinstatement of sales of iTunes Movies and iBooks ebooks in the country.
Apple’s cooling relationship with the Chinese government has some investors worried. Activist investor Carl Icahn recently sold all of his Apple holdings. “You worry a little bit — and maybe more than a little — about China’s attitude,” said Icahn, adding the government there could “come in and make it very difficult for Apple to sell there.”
Apple has big plans for China, and is seen as relying heavily on the country for future revenue growth. For the company to remain viable in China, keeping a good relationship cultivated with the Chinese government is vitally important.