Apple CEO Tim Cook meets with China commerce minister on supply chain

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Tim Cook, chief executive officer of Apple Inc., speaks during a “First Tool-In” ceremony at the TSMC facility under construction in Phoenix, Arizona, US, on Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2022.

Caitlin O’Hara | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Apple CEO Tim Cook met with China’s minister of commerce, Wang Wentao, on Monday to discuss industrial and supply chain stabilization, according to a statement from the Ministry of Commerce.

“The two sides exchanged views on issues such as Apple’s development in China and the stabilization of the industrial and supply chains,” the statement from China’s Ministry of Commerce read.

Apple declined to comment on Cook’s activities in mainland China, where he was one of a handful of top American executives to attend the weekend’s China Development Forum.

Cook and Wang’s meeting comes after months of lockdowns and Covid restrictions in China. Images and videos of workers fleeing from lockdown restrictions at Foxconn’s major iPhone plant in China went viral on social media late last year.

Communist Party officials have made it clear that it’s a top priority to reassure corporate leaders and assuage their concerns about production and reliable output in China.

“China will unswervingly promote high-level opening-up, steadily promote rules, regulations, management, standards and other institutional opening-up,” the statement from Wang’s ministry read.

The meeting comes as Apple has reportedly worked to move some production out of China. Major supplier Foxconn is slated to open a massive factory presence in Bengaluru, India.

— CNBC’s Hilary Pan and Eunice Yoon contributed to this report.

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