Apple’s Tim Cook visits Shanghai, stating ‘no supply chain more critical than China’
Published: Mar 20, 2024 02:33 PM
Screenshot of Tim Cook's post of Sina Weibo

Screenshot of Tim Cook's post of Sina Weibo

Apple chief executive Tim Cook has arrived in Shanghai, and reaffirmed the irreplaceable role of China for its supply chain, media reported.

He last visited China in October 2023. Cook's visit comes as Apple is slated to officially open a new store in Shanghai's Jing'an district on Thursday. Cook is also expected to attend the China Development Forum (CDF), which is expected to kick off on Sunday in Beijing, the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported.

"There's no supply chain in the world that's more critical to us than China," said Cook in an interview with media in Shanghai, adding that Apple has been expanding and increasing investment in China, and its factories are much more modern.

Cook on Wednesday afternoon met with BYD CEO Wang Chuanfu in Shanghai, and visited BYD's exhibition site together, according to Chinese media outlet Cook also met representatives from its Chinese suppliers including BYD Electronics, Lens Technology and Everwin Precision.

According to Cook's post on Chinese social media account Sina Weibo, he spent Wednesday morning walking in the Bund with Chinese movie star Zheng Kai, and had a classic Shanghai breakfast. On Tuesday, he also posted, offering his congratulations to the opening of the new store at Shanghai's Jing'an district.

Some netizens discussed that Cook may show up at the opening ceremony of Apple's new store in downtown Shanghai, and said they were looking forward to meeting Cook at the opening of the new Shanghai store.

The visit of Cook came amid the background as the US tech giant is facing fierce competition in the Chinese mainland market.

Data from a report by market research organization Counterpoint Research showed that over the first six weeks this year, the sales of iPhones plunged by 24 percent year-on-year. The report said that US tech giant's market share has been squeezed by aggressive pricing from OPPO, Vivo and Xiaomi.

Experts said that Apple's move is understandable since China remains its second largest market after the US, underscoring the company's confidence in exploring the massive Chinese market, while adding that Apple needs to ramp up investment in research and development to make new technological breakthroughs and regain lost market share in one of the world's most important markets.

Apple Jing'an store is the highest-standard Apple store in the Chinese mainland. According to media reports, the store covers an area of 3,835 square meters, with a total investment of 83.4 million yuan ($11.61 million). Only the Apple store on New York City's Fifth Avenue costs more.

During Cook's visits to China last year, he was warmly welcomed by senior Chinese leaders and officials, as well as cheers and applause from local Apple fans.

Apple is expected to bring high-quality devices and services to Chinese consumers, as the company faces increasingly fierce competition from a slew of Chinese local brands, industry insiders said.

Global Times