Technology

Apple chief signed $275B deal to placate China: report

Apple CEO Tim Cook forged a secret deal with China worth $275 billion in an effort to appease Chinese officials and improve business in the country, according to internal Apple documents obtained by news outlet The Information.

The 2016 deal, reported by The Information on Tuesday, shows Cook traveled to China at the time while there were declining Apple product sales in the country. China also felt Apple had not contributed enough to the economy or the nation.

During private negotiations that year, Cook signed a five-year agreement with Chinese officials, placating the government and preserving the business relationship, according to the report.

The iPhone and iPad maker agreed to build new retail stores, renewable energy projects and research and development centers. The tech company also promised to work more closely with Chinese companies and universities, buying components and parts from Chinese suppliers and collaborating with the nation’s colleges and researchers.

Following the agreement was a $1 billion investment from Apple to Uber rival Didi Chuxing in May 2016.

Today, Apple is the No. 1 cellphone maker in China. The company makes billions of dollars in revenue in China and even set a record for quarterly revenue last June. Apple opened a new store in September in Changsha, and the company has been building research and development centers in China.

Apple has been criticized for its close relationship with China and reliance on the country for labor and manufacturing.

A number of American companies have decided to pull services from the Asian country because of its authoritarian tendencies and increased censorship of products and people. Most recently, Microsoft announced that it would shut down its social networking service LinkedIn in China.

Tags Apple China China appeasement Chinese Communist Party dealmaking Lobbying Tim Cook

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