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Apple CEO Tim Cook 'Secretly' Signed $275 Billion Deal With China in 2016

Added 12-07-21 10:12:02am EST - “Apple CEO Tim Cook "secretly" signed an agreement worth more than $275 billion with Chinese officials, promising that Apple would help to...” - Macrumors.com

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Posted By TheNewsCommenter: From Macrumors.com: “Apple CEO Tim Cook 'Secretly' Signed $275 Billion Deal With China in 2016”. Below is an excerpt from the article.

Apple CEO Tim Cook "secretly" signed an agreement worth more than $275 billion with Chinese officials, promising that Apple would help to develop China's economy and technological capabilities, The Information reports.

In an extensive paywalled report based on interviews and purported internal Apple documents, The Information revealed that ‌Tim Cook‌ personally forged a five-year agreement with the Chinese government during a series of in-person visits to the country in 2016. The need to push for a closer alliance with the Chinese government reportedly came from a number of Apple executives who were concerned about bad publicity in China and the company's poor relationship with Chinese officials, who believed that Apple was not contributing enough to the local economy.

Alleged internal documents show that Cook "personally lobbied officials" in China over threats made against Apple Pay, iCloud, and the App Store. Cook set out to use a "memorandum of understanding" between Apple and a powerful Chinese government agency called the National Development and Reform Commission to formally agree to a number of concessions in return for regulatory exemptions. The 1,250-word agreement was written by Apple's government affairs team in China and stewarded by Cook as he met with Chinese officials.

In May 2016, Cook announced that Apple would be investing $1 billion in the Chinese ride-hailing startup Didi Chuxing in a pointed attempt to mollify authorities, the report added. Shortly after, Cook, Apple Chief Operating Officer Jeff Williams, and government affairs head Lisa Jackson met with senior government officials in Zhongnanhai, the central headquarters of the Communist Party of China.

Cook's negotiations led to the successful signing of the multibillion-dollar agreement, quashing a number of regulatory actions against the company with exemptions and enabling access to the Chinese market, in return for significant investments, business deals, and worker training in the country.

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