Earlier in the week, Apple’s boss Tim Cook embarked on a charm offensive in China in an attempt to appease the government and its agencies, which have already forced the iPhone maker to shut down the iBooks and iTunes Movie stores in the massive 1.35 billion people market.
As noted by Reuters, in meeting with Cook in Beijing, head of China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) underscored the importance of strong security of Apple’s products for the Chinese consumer.
“I hope Apple can expand its business in China, deepen its cooperation in research and development and industrial supply chains, and provide a convenient and secure user experience for Chinese consumers,” said MIIT boss Miao Wei.
Analyst Ben Thompson, who writes at Stratechery.com, thinks China has set a clear precedent with nearly every other tech company that operating in the country “comes with certain strings attached, including significant investment in China’s tech sector.”
Apple’s unexpected $1 billion investment in China’s ride-sharing service and major Uber rival, Didi Chuxing, is largely seen as an attempt to curry favor from the government.
“Apple has largely escaped this requirement, thanks to its appeal to customers instead of big business, but it seems likely the Chinese government is trying to end that exemption,” said Thompson.
During China trip, Cook praised Didi’s management team and underscored that their objective, just like Apple’s, is also environmental because they’re “hoping to help reduce pollutions by making more efficient use of cars.”