International

Apple, Facebook CEOs Meet China’s President

With Apple gearing up to roll out the iPhone X early next month and Facebook trying to get back into the Chinese market, the executives of the two companies met with China’s President Xi Jinping on Monday (Oct. 30).

According to news from Reuters, Apple’s Chief Executive, Tim Cook, and Facebook’s Chief Executive, Mark Zuckerberg, met the president of China at an annual gathering of advisers of the Tsinghua University business school in Beijing. Cook and Zuckerberg are both on the advisory board of the Tsinghua School of Economics and Management, President Xi Jinping was there to speak with Chinese business leaders and officials during the meeting, noted the report.

“Every year this trip is a great way to keep up with the pace of innovation and entrepreneurship in China,” Zuckerberg said in a blog post over the weekend, noted the report. An Apple spokeswoman declined to comment on Cook’s schedule or meetings.

For CEO Tim Cook and Apple, the meeting with Xi in Beijing at Tsinghua University comes as the company is gearing up to launch the iPhone X, with pre-orders kicking off late last week. While Apple has struggled to make inroads in China with the iPhone, it is hoping it has a hit on its hands with the iPhone X. Based on initial preorders, it appears the iPhone X is off to a strong start in terms of sales. Market research firm Canalys said Apple had 40 percent growth in shipments in China during the third quarter, but warned it wouldn’t last long, as competition from local handset makers heats up.

Facebook has been banned from the Chinese market for some time now but has been eying it as CEO Mark Zuckerberg seeks to sign on the next billion users. Earlier this year, the social network hit the 1 billion mark in terms of monthly active users. But earlier this month, China’s cyber watchdog fined Tencent’s WeChat, Baidu and Weibo for allowing banned content on their platforms, an indication that Facebook’s Chinese ban may not be lifted any time soon.

Banned content includes anything the government deems to be fake news, pornography and/or content that incites ethnic tensions and “threatens social order.” Facebook’s WhatsApp is completely banned in the country.

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