Last Saturday (3/18), Apple's CEO, Tim Cook, spoke at China Development Forum 2017. The annual conference, which is sponsored by the Chinese government, brings business leaders from around the world, institutions and scholars to talk about topics concerning the country, its economy, its relationship with other nations, among other things. And since Apple just announced two new research and development centers in the country, Cook was invited for the first time to address issues like globalization, economy and data privacy.
According to The Wall Street Journal (closed matter for subscribers), the CEO of Ma said that globalization is, in general, a good thing for the world, although he recognizes that the distribution of income is not done equally between countries. And despite the pressure put on by the Trump administration to prioritize domestic investment, Cook made a point of encouraging China and other countries to invest in a more balanced development future, through greater openness to foreign investment.
I think the worst thing would be because it doesn't help everyone to say it's bad, and to do less about it. I think the reality that you can see is that the countries of the world that are isolated, it does not do good for its people.
Very wisely, Cook chose not to touch on the country's most sensitive political issues. Still, the question of how privacy should be dealt with hangs in the air. Apple argues that the user must be able to own and control their own data. Currently, in China, the way they handle personal data only reinforces the State's control over the flow of information and technology equipment within the country.
Of course, the way the CEO referred to these matters could not be different, since China has different rules and tolerances than the United States. If both the market and the production in the country are something precious to Apple, it is unlikely that Cook would speak openly about some political issues in the country, such as restrictions on access to Internet content, as this could negatively affect the country's relationship with the company.
Today, Monday (3/20), the executive still plans to meet with Xu Lin, China's managing director of cyberspace, at a private meeting.