Apple CEO Tim Cook Touts Benefits of Globalization in China Speech

Apple CEO Tim Cook gave a talk on Saturday to attendees of the China Development Forum 2017, where he offered commentary on a range of issues including globalization, economics, and data privacy.

The annual forum is a high-profile conference in which senior Chinese government officials, global corporation leaders, institutions, and scholars gather to discuss major issues including Chinese economic reform and the country's relationship with the wider world. Other tech CEOs at this year's event included IBM's Ginni Rometty and Siemens' Joe Kaeser.

According to The Wall Street Journal, Cook chose to focus on the perceived merits of globalization during his speech, calling its impact on the world "great" in general, while noting the currently uneven distribution of its economic and cultural gains. Despite shortcomings – and amid calls from the Trump administration to direct investment inwardly – Cook encouraged China and other countries to bet on a future of more balanced development by opening themselves further to foreign investment.

"I think the worst thing would be to — because it didn't help everyone — is to say it's bad and do less of that," said Cook. "I think the reality is you can see that countries in the world... that isolate themselves, it's not good for their people."

In general, Cook's comments largely avoided sensitive Chinese political issues. On the subject of data privacy and cybersecurity, for example, Cook reiterated previous statements made about the importance of encryption to protect user information from state hackers and other bad actors. "We think that an individual should own their data and should be able to control their data," said Cook, while avoiding any explicit criticism of Chinese cybersecurity policy, which in its current form only serves to tighten state control over information flows and technology equipment within the country.

In contrast to outspoken political stands taken at home – such as last year's very public encryption battle with the FBI – the tone of Cook's comments reflected Apple's historically mindful approach to Sino relations, with the company having previously fallen foul of China's restrictive internet policies. Given Apple's ongoing efforts to crack China's booming smartphone market, combined with heavy investment in research and development facilities in the country, Cook's cautiousness aligns with Apple's strategy of sidestepping issues that could significantly damage future negotiations.

As part of his China trip, Tim Cook is also scheduled to speak with Xu Lin, director of the Cyberspace Administration of China, in a private meeting on Monday.

Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.

Top Rated Comments

Adam Warlock Avatar
57 months ago
What a loathsome coward Tim Cook is. Not only does he avoid going on about privacy to China, but he also completely forgets about his other favourite topics such as transgender rights, climate change, equality of women, open borders, etc. (Interested parties are encouraged to check out how those issues are dealt with in Cook's current favourite country.) How very strange! Why doesn't he open a 'dialogue' about these topics? How about pushing to 'educate' the Chinese government regarding these matters? Oh, right: because he's a hypocrite of the highest (or rather lowest) order and that stuff is only useful to sell his toys in this part of the world where it's currently in fashion. Globalization is good for Cook because it allows him to produce his crap cheaper and sell it in more parts of the world. That's not a benefit for the many IMO.
Score: 164 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Ramius Avatar
57 months ago
Its been good to him but not for the thousans, perhaps millions of people who lost their jobs in his own country,

This is the typical argument we see for globalization. It only works well for those on top. And its easy to draw a flattering picture of it, because the top one percent enjoys the benefits and will gladly defend it.

Tim Cook is doing this. He is using his powerfull voice to fight the battle for the elite, against the public.
Score: 76 Votes (Like | Disagree)
pickaxe Avatar
57 months ago
What a loathsome coward Tim Cook is. (etc.)
Can't like your post twice, so I decided to quote it instead. It's exactly true. Globalists are opportunistic cowards. The guy can't separate politics and business when it's convenient, but when China or Saudi Arabia are involved, then suddenly he goes mute.
Score: 60 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Mac32 Avatar
57 months ago
Says the guy whose company pays 0.005% in taxes. Disgusting.
Score: 54 Votes (Like | Disagree)
klrobinson999 Avatar
57 months ago
Globalization typically benefits only the corporations and Wall Street stockholders. The trade agreements and treaties over the past two decades haven't been friendly to workers or developing countries. All one needs to do is read Klein's "Shock Doctrine" to fully understand the turmoil it's caused; all in the name of free trade and the ugliness of the Chicago School of Economics.
Score: 52 Votes (Like | Disagree)
jlasoon Avatar
57 months ago
What a loathsome coward Tim Cook is. Not only does he avoid going on about privacy to China, but he also completely forgets about his other favourite topics such as transgender rights, climate change, equality of women, open borders, etc. (Interested parties are encouraged to check out how those issues are dealt with in Cook's current favourite country.) How very strange! Why doesn't he open a 'dialogue' about these topics? How about pushing to 'educate' the Chinese government regarding these matters? Oh, right: because he's a hypocrite of the highest (or rather lowest) order and that stuff is only useful to sell his toys in this part of the world where it's currently in fashion. Globalization is good for Cook because it allows him to produce his crap cheaper and sell it in more parts of the world. That's not a benefit for the many IMO.
This man is a complete joke!

You reap what you sow Tim.
[doublepost=1489836550][/doublepost]
It looks like he wants to be able to invest more in China.
Or better yet, needs access to modern day slave labor.
Score: 45 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

Pro Display XDR Yella

Apple Working on External Display With Built-In A13 Chip

Friday July 23, 2021 9:37 am PDT by
Apple is developing an external display that includes an A13 chip with Neural Engine, according to a new rumor from 9to5Mac. The A13 chip with Neural Engine would presumably serve as an eGPU, though details are light at this time. Having a CPU/GPU built into the external display could help Macs deliver high-resolution graphics without using all the resources of the computer's internal chip....
iOS 14 on iPhone feature emergency

Apple Releases iOS and iPadOS 14.7.1 With Fix for Touch ID Apple Watch Bug

Monday July 26, 2021 9:48 am PDT by
Apple today released iOS and iPadOS 14.7.1, minor bug fix updates that come just a week after the release of iOS 14.7, software that introduced new Apple Card features and support for the MagSafe Battery Pack. The iOS and iPadOS 14.7.1 updates can be downloaded for free and the software is available on all eligible devices over-the-air in the Settings app. To access the new software, go to...
discount m1 macbook yellow

Deals: Shop Record Low Prices Across Apple's Full MacBook Pro and MacBook Air Lineup (Up to $499 Off)

Friday July 23, 2021 8:23 am PDT by
Apple's MacBook Pro and MacBook Air lineup is seeing all-time low discounts across the board today, including the 2019 16-inch MacBook Pro, 2020 13-inch MacBook Air, and 2020 13-inch MacBook Pro. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running. 13-Inch M1...
iphone 12 pro gold

Report: iPhone 14 Pro Models to Feature Tough Titanium Alloy Chassis

Monday July 26, 2021 1:12 am PDT by
Next year's "iPhone 14" series is expected to feature high-end models with a new titanium alloy chassis design, claims a new investors report by JP Morgan Chase. According to the report, the use of titanium alloy will be one of the biggest changes to the case design in the 2022 iPhone series, and Foxconn will be the exclusive manufacturer of the titanium frames for the high-end models....
FaceID iMac REREREREMIX

Gurman: Face ID on the Mac Coming Within a 'Couple of Years'

Sunday July 25, 2021 7:09 am PDT by
Apple plans to bring Face ID to the Mac within the next "couple of years," respected Bloomberg journalist Mark Gurman said today in the latest edition of his Power On newsletter. In the newsletter, Gurman says that he believes Apple's ultimate goal is to shift all of its products to Face ID, including the lower-end iPhones such as the iPhone SE and the iPad Air, which feature Touch ID....
airpods 3 gizmochina Feature

AirPods 3 Rumored to Launch Alongside iPhone 13 at Expected September Event

Friday July 23, 2021 12:54 am PDT by
The third-generation AirPods will likely launch at the same event revealing Apple's upcoming iPhone 13 lineup, according to a report from DigiTimes, which makes the claim citing sources familiar with the matter. The report as a whole echoes previous reporting that production of the third-generation AirPods will kickstart in August, meaning a launch shortly after can be easily expected. DigiTi...
imac with accessories

Larger Redesigned High-End iMac Rumored to Launch Next Year

Monday July 26, 2021 3:45 am PDT by
Apple's larger redesigned iMac will arrive sometime in 2022 rather than later this year, according to the leaker known as "Dylandkt." On Twitter, Dylandkt claimed that Apple's "high end iMac" is not expected to release in the fourth quarter of 2021 alongside Apple's "M1X Macs" – a reference to Apple's redesigned MacBook Pro models – because "Apple simply does not want their devices to...
apple bitcoin hack

Is Apple Really Buying Bitcoin?

Monday July 26, 2021 3:07 am PDT by
A large number of websites and posts on social media are stoking rumors that Apple has purchased $2.5 billion worth of bitcoin in the company's first move into cryptocurrency, but is there any validity to the claims? Many people are citing the fact that Apple was looking for a Business Development Manager with experience in alternative payments, including cryptocurrency, earlier this year as ...
apple mac business page

Apple Shares 11 Reasons Why Business Users Should Choose Macs

Monday July 26, 2021 11:35 am PDT by
Apple today updated its Apple at Work website with a new section dedicated to the Mac, which offers up 11 reasons why "Mac means business." On the webpage, Apple highlights the M1 chip as the number one reason why business users should choose a Mac, offering up an M1 overview [PDF] that explains the benefits of the M1 chip. The information isn't new, but it does provide a look at all of...
magsafe battery pack iphone 12 mini

Top Stories: Hands-On With MagSafe Battery Pack, iPhone 13 Always-On Display?

Saturday July 24, 2021 6:00 am PDT by
Apple's new MagSafe Battery Pack is now available, and we went hands-on this week for some early impressions of the new accessory to get more battery life out of Apple's iPhone 12 lineup. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. This week also saw a number of rumors about the upcoming redesigned MacBook Pro models, the iPhone 13 lineup, the next-generation iPad mini, a new...