Tim Cook, Apple CEO has decided to visit China this week, on a relationship building exercise, visiting many dignitaries and partner factories. One of the high profile press events occurred at a troubled Foxconn factory in China.
China is a huge market for all the major technology players, and they are already Apple’s second biggest country on sales alone. They are currently dealing with a trademark debate over the ‘iPad’ name with local company Proview.
Apple released some pictures to Reuters via email, showing Cook smiling with employees of the ZhengzhouTechnology Park in the north central province of Hebe. This factory employs 120,000 people according to the emails.
Foxconn are a huge link in the Apple supply chain as they assemble a high percentage of all the iPhones and iPads. They have been in the spotlight for the last year, for all the wrong reasons. Employees were committing suicide and the company are still being accused of improper labour practices. Foxconn became such a thorn in Apple’s side that they joined the Fair Labor Association to deflect criticism and to allow for independent investigations into the operation.
Tim Cook took over the role of Apple CEO after legendary leader Steve Jobs died last year. The trip to China is a key move for the new leader, to show he is both ‘hands on’ and that he is spending time with such a valuable market. They may still face supply problems for the iPad as local company Proview claim they own the trademark name in that part of the world. It is progressing through the Chinese courts.
Kitguru says: Tim Cook is hoping the trip will prove a popular move with the Chinese people.