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Apple CEO says company ‘enjoys symbiotic’ relationship with China

Apple CEO Tim Cook on August 25, 2017 at the Capital Factory in downtown Austin, Texas. (Austin Community College/Released)
March 28, 2023

On Saturday, Apple CEO Tim Cook said that the company has a “symbiotic” relationship with China that he believes both Apple and China “enjoyed.” The comments come amid heightened tensions between the U.S. and China, and just weeks after China blamed the U.S. for its problems.

Cook was in China attending the Chinese Communist Party’s state-run China Development Forum when he praised Apple’s relationship with the communist nation.

“Apple and China grew together,” Cook said during an interview on the relationship between technology and education, according to AFP. “This has been a symbiotic kind of relationship that I think we both enjoyed.”

While in China, Cook promised to expand Apple’s funding of its rural education program in China.

Entrepreneur and 2024 GOP presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy recently slammed Cook as one of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s “circus monkeys.”

“China’s control over companies extends far beyond those who have senior management physically in China. It’s over any company that relies on China to drive growth & profitability. That’s why Tim Cook & Larry Fink are Xi Jinping’s circus monkeys: Xi says jump, they ask how high,” he tweeted.

Cooks praise of Apples relationship with China comes after President Jinping singled out the United States for a rare denouncement as relations between the two countries plunge to a historic low.

“Western countries—led by the U.S.—have implemented all-round containment, encirclement and suppression against us, bringing unprecedentedly severe challenges to our country’s development,” Xi said, according to a translation published by the Wall Street Journal.

The same day Xi made that remark, his newly-appointed foreign minister, Qin Gang, warned that the U.S. was inviting “conflict and confrontation” with its current policies and said “the future of humanity” could be at risk, Politico reported.