The leader of tech giant Apple is planning to visit China later this month, with the aim of meeting with highly placed officials in the country’s government, as the firm is "facing setbacks" in its biggest market outside the United States, The Guardian reported on Friday (May 6), citing unnamed sources in contact with Reuters.
Tim Cook, chief executive officer of the firm, will be taking yet another trip to China, a relatively frequent occurrence in his five-year tenure as CEO. But this visit may have a different ring to it as iPhone sales have been on the wane and the company has lost a trademark dispute tied to the smartphones themselves, with other issues stemming from suspension of certain online services.
All of this comes against the backdrop of Apple posting its first quarterly revenue slip in 13 years. Carl Icahn, the famed investor who sold his entire 46 million-share stake recently, alluded to problems the firm may have with the Chinese government going forward.
The unnamed sources mentioned above stated that Cook will be meeting with propaganda officials in the country — not all that long after online book and film businesses tied to Apple were shut down last month. Apple, in turn, has also refused to comply with requests by the government to hand over source code. And through it all, despite business in the region declining by more than 25 percent year over year in the latest quarter, Cook stated that China is still “more stable” than might be surmised and remains a country where Apple remains optimistic.