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Apple CEO Tim Cook Flexes Chinese Trip Eating Dim Sum on Social Media

It has been reported that iPhone sales in China are sluggish. As a result, Apple’s CEO, Tim Cook, appears to have visited China for the first time in five months.

On the 20th (local time), Reuters reported that Tim Cook posted on his Weibo account, a Chinese social media platform, that he is currently visiting Shanghai with actor Jung Kai, who is well-known in China.

It is said that Cook spent time walking with Jung Kai along the Huangpu River in Shanghai and having breakfast. While Cook did not disclose the reason for his sudden visit to China, experts speculate it may have been to visit an Apple store in Shanghai due to the company’s recent meager performance in China.

Apple announced plans to open its 8th Apple Store, Apple Jing’an, in Shanghai, China, on the 21st. It can be speculated that Cook visited Shanghai to attend the store’s grand opening. Apple Jing’an is attracting the attention of Chinese citizens with its special flower-themed logo.

In an interview with the Chinese media outlet Fengpai Newspaper, CEO Tim Cook stated that China is the most important place in Apple’s supply chain.

Cook praised China for its modernized factories and excellent production capabilities and emphasized Apple’s symbiotic relationship with the country.

The Apple store, set to open in Jing’an Temple Square in the heart of Shanghai, is expected to be the largest in Asia and the second largest in the world after the 5th Avenue store in New York, covering an area of about 3.8 million square feet.

Those who have visited the Apple Jing’an store have described it as an art space rather than an electronics store, indicating a distinct difference from previous Apple flagship stores.

Cook’s recent visit to China is interpreted as a determination to break through the company’s disappointing performance.

Since the release of Huawei’s latest 5G smartphone, the Mate 60 Pro, last year, it’s believed that Apple’s position in the Chinese market has been lagging. The latest iPhone 15 series is also struggling in the Chinese market.

Based on the fourth quarter of last year, Apple’s sales in the Chinese market have decreased by 13% to $20.8 billion.

Apple’s scanty performance in China is expected to continue this year. According to Counterpoint Research, iPhone sales in China have plummeted by about 24% in the first six weeks of this year.

Huawei is fiercely chasing Apple. Its sales increased 64% over the same period, surpassing Apple’s market share.

China, which accounts for 20% of Apple’s total sales, is undoubtedly one of Apple’s most important markets. However, it has been the weakest performer in the Chinese market in recent years.

Apple’s below-par performance is believed to be due to the escalating tensions between the U.S. and China. Additionally, as Apple continues to lose market share to domestic brands like Xiaomi and Huawei, its position has weakened.

In a video posted on Weibo in both Chinese and English, Cook is seen skillfully eating dim sum with chopsticks.

Along with the video, he wrote, “Returning to this extraordinary city always brings me great joy.” He also greeted his followers with the Shanghai dialect version of the Chinese greeting “Ni hao,” further expressing his friendliness.

Currently, Cook is emphasizing the importance of Chinese partners and is known to have met with Wang Chuanfu, chairman of BYD, the world’s largest electric vehicle company, and representatives, including Zhou Xiaopeng of Lens Technology at Apple’s China headquarters in Shanghai.

Apple has partnered with BYD Electronics since 2008. The partnership began with the supply of iPhone cases and now includes parts and assembly services for iPhones, iPads, and Apple Watches. With Zhou Xiaopeng as its representative, Lens Technology is known for supplying the glass used in the iPhone Pro.

During the meeting, Cook was touring parts displayed for smart manufacturing technology by Apple suppliers, including BYD Electronics and Lens Technology.

Meanwhile, CEO Tim Cook is scheduled to attend the China Development Forum in Beijing on the 24th. It remains to be seen whether Cook’s visit to China will catalyze to alleviate the company’s poor market performance in the country.

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