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Apple CEO Tim Cook met with China’s top Internet regulator this week

TechCrunch TechCrunch 19/05/2016 Catherine Shu

Apple CEO Tim Cook met with China’s main Internet and telecommunications regulator this week during his visit to Beijing. According to a short statement posted today on the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology’s site (link via Google Translate), its chief, Miao Wei, and Cook had a discussion on Tuesday.

Cook is now in India to open a development center and meet with politicians and businesses.

The MIIT’s statement said that Wei praised Apple’s “extensive collaboration” with China over the last few years during the meeting. It added that as part of China’s five-year plan to reboot its economy, the government will promote the development of new technologies, industries, and retail formats—and that it hopes Apple will continue to expand its business, research and development, and supply chain there in order to give consumers a “convenient and safe user experience.”

TechCrunch has contacted Apple for more details. Cook also met with Miao during his last trip to China in 2013.

Though brief, the MIIT statement is especially loaded because the last two months have been very eventful for Apple’s China business.

During its second-quarter earnings report in April, Apple said sales in China—its second-biggest market after the United States—fell 11 percent year-over-year. That month, regulators also ordered the closure of iBooks Store and iTunes Movies, which was a surprising move because Apple has been given a relatively wide berth for a foreign tech firm in China.

Then last week, Apple announced that it had invested $1 billion in Didi Chuxing, China’s largest ride-sharing app, which may help it curry favor with the government as it promotes domestic tech firms.

The company, however, has to tread carefully in its dealings with China; during its recent dispute with the FBI over iPhone encryption, the company said it had refused a request within the last two years to hand its source code over to Chinese authorities.

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