Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) CEO Tim Cook is in China for the second time in just 10 months. This time he met with Miao Wei, China’s industry and information technology chief, to talk about the tech industry as a whole, including Apple’s China operations and the world’s communications market. Bloomberg reported their meeting earlier this morning.
The last time Cook went to China was in March 2012 when he visited the controversial Foxconn factory, which assembles Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s iPhones. At the time there were allegations about the working conditions at Foxconn and other suppliers of the company. Critics said Apple’s suppliers required employees to work long hours for little pay.
Apple Insider reports that since that visit to Foxconn, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) began giving monthly audit updates on its suppliers’ factories. Also there is now speculation that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is subsidizing increased wages for employees at the Foxconn plant. Meanwhile Foxconn has worked to improve working conditions as Apple’s regular audits helped to encourage the improvements. The Fair Labor Association has also given independent reviews of the working conditions there.
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On Cook’s last visit to China, he also pledged that Apple would make a “greater investment” into China, the largest global computer and mobile phone market. Since then Apple’s retail presence in China has almost doubled. At that time, there were just six Apple stores in the entire country, but five new stores have opened up since then.
There are no further details on Cook’s current visit to China, including how long he will be in the country or information on whether he will meet with anyone else while he is there.