China Vice Premier pledges IP protection during Tim Cook visit
Apple CEO Tim Cook is visiting China, having recently toured Foxconn facilities, but so far his most interesting meeting has been with Chinese Vice Premier Li Keqiang. Li committed to improving intellectual property protection for international companies like Apple, who is currently duking it out with a local LCD vendor over the iPad trademark. The Vice Premier said specifically:
To be more open to the outside is a condition for China to transform its economic development, expand domestic demands and conduct technological innovation.
He also called on foreign companies to care for Chinese workers, which has been a concern for Apple at Foxconn for awhile now, but has become a big subject of public attention lately. Cook promised to keep working honestly within Chinese law, and maintain a healthy level of cooperation with the locals. Li would like to see international companies partnering with Chinese ones for product development, and said the government aims to strengthen emerging industries and innovation.
Apple has invested a ton of money into Foxconn, and by association, the Chinese economy; it's expected that they're also on good terms with the government, and that they'll keep up those relations to make sure iPhone and iPad production continues unabated. That said, I can't help but wonder who needs who more as far as economics go: China for the money Apple's bringing in, or Apple for China's supply chain?