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