China welcomes Apple and Tim Cook despite banning government iPhones

Apple BKC launch Tim Cook
(Image credit: Palash Volvoikar/iMore)

Apple CEO Tim Cook visited China to meet with Commerce Minister Wang Wentao this week, with the former saying that they welcome Apple to enjoy the "dividends of the Chinese market” in what was called a “win-win development.”

Cook's visit to China comes amid ongoing tensions between the country and the United States. Those tensions are at such a point that iPhones are now banned in some governmental agencies and state-owned companies over security concerns.

However, it seems that was overlooked as the two met to discuss relations between their countries among other things.

Sluggish sales

The visit also comes as various reports claim that iPhone 15 sales have been sluggish in China following a release last month, Bloomberg notes.

"Cook and Wang met in Beijing against a backdrop of sluggish iPhone 15 sales in the country, and amid fears that China could limit the use of Apple products by government-related employees," the report adds. "It was also just a day after the latest move by Washington to tighten measures aimed at limiting China’s capacity in cutting-edge technology."

This is far from Cook's first visit to China and it is very unlikely to be the last. The country is a key market for Apple. It's also one that it's trying to diversify from after spending years being so reliant on its labor and manufacturing capacities. However, the COVID-19 pandemic quickly showed that having all of your production eggs in one basket isn't a wise move, with Apple now pushing suppliers to open factories in new countries like India.

Cook's visit to China included a visit to Chengdu which itself featured a visit to a local Apple Store. There was also a gaming tournament to be enjoyed during that visit, Bloomberg adds.

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too. Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.