June 13, 2024

Apple enjoys a “symbiotic” relationship with China, CEO Tim Cook said on Saturday, as the iPhone giant looks to move production out of the country.

Cook, who is in China to attend the high-profile China Development Forum, said “Apple and China grew together,” during an interview on the role of technology in education.

“This has been a symbiotic kind of relationship that I think we both enjoyed,” he said at the state-run event attended by top government officials and corporate leaders.

Cook’s visit comes as Apple, the world’s biggest company by market value, is trying to move production out of China.

Last year, Apple sales were hit by curtailed production at factories as a result of China’s zero-Covid policy.

US export controls on high-tech components are also threatening the company’s supply chain.

Cook did not address supply chain issues during his discussion.

Instead, he focused on the need to bridge the education gap between urban and rural schools and encouraged young people to learn programming and critical thinking skills.

He also pledged to increase Apple’s spending on its rural education program in China to 100 million yuan ($15 million).

Cook visited an Apple Store in downtown Beijing on Friday, and a photo of him posing for a selfie with singer Huang Ling has gone viral on Chinese social media.

prw/mca