Details Emerge on Apple CEO Tim Cook’s Secret $275B Deal with China

Apple, Los Angeles, United States - 19 Nov 2021
Marcio Jose Sanchez / AP /

For the first time in six years, the Apple iPhone became China’s bestselling smartphone. And it was thanks to CEO Tim Cook’s secret, $275 billion arrangement with the country, promising that Apple would help develop the Chinese economy through investments, business deals and training.

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On Dec. 7, leading tech publication The Information reported on the situation, which included interviews and alleged internal Apple documents showing that Cook lobbied officials in China to preserve the Apple Pay, iCloud and App Store services. He allegedly drafted a “memorandum of understanding” between Apple and China’s National Development and Reform Commission to agree to concessions in exchange for regulatory exemptions.

Additionally, in the document, Apple allegedly pledged to help Chinese manufacturers develop “the most advanced manufacturing technologies,” the report said. Apple would also use Chinese components, software firms and other tech companies more frequently. The report added that Apple agreed to offer assistance with roughly 12 Chinese government causes, and invest billions in retail stores, research and development facilities, and renewable energy projects in China.

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If both parties agreed, the deal would continue through May 2022. However, it could be renegotiated and extended further during Cook’s tenure, which is expected to last at least through 2025. Bloomberg reported that Cook’s 1 million Apple shares payout at that time — and the CEO, who is now 61 years old — may opt to move on at that point.

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About the Author

Dawn Allcot is a full-time freelance writer and content marketing specialist who geeks out about finance, e-commerce, technology, and real estate. Her lengthy list of publishing credits include Bankrate, Lending Tree, and Chase Bank. She is the founder and owner of, a travel, technology, and entertainment website. She lives on Long Island, New York, with a veritable menagerie that includes 2 cats, a rambunctious kitten, and three lizards of varying sizes and personalities – plus her two kids and husband. Find her on Twitter, @DawnAllcot.
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