Chinese developers have earned more selling apps on Apple's iOS platform than devs from any other country, Apple CEO Tim Cook said on Sunday (via Bloomberg). His comments were made in a keynote speech given at China's annual state-run World Internet Conference, which aims to develop the digital economy, while operating under the rubric of respecting the right of sovereign nations to regulate and control public internet access.

Cook said developers on its iOS platform number 1.8 million in China, collectively earning a total of $16.9 billion, which is roughly a quarter of total global App Store earnings. Apple said earlier this year that the global developer community has earned over $70 billion since the App Store launched in 2008.

1512285651734094802

Tim Cook delivers a speech at the Fourth World Internet Conference (Photo: IC)

"The theme of this conference – developing a digital economy for openness and shared benefits – is a vision we at Apple share," Cook said. "We are proud to have worked alongside many of our partners in China to help build a community that will join a common future in cyberspace."

China's cyber regulation has stepped up in the last year, with new rules coming into force that require companies to store data locally and make data available for surveillance measures. Apple was the first foreign tech firm to announce amendments to its data storage arrangements in China, when the cybersecurity laws came into effect in June.

"Much has been said of the potential downsides of AI, but I don't worry about machines thinking like humans. I worry about people thinking like machines," he said. "We all have to work to infuse technology with humanity, with our values."

Technology of the future should have openness, creativity and safeguards to protect users while providing privacy and decency, he added.

Cook's words appeared carefully chosen so as not to upset his Chinese hosts, who routinely curtail access to online services seen as a potential threat to the country's internal cohesion. Facebook and Instagram have been blocked by China's Cyberspace Administration since 2009 and 2014, respectively. Encrypted messaging service Telegram was also blocked inside China after it became popular with the country's human rights lawyers, while several VPN apps – which are commonly used to evade censorship and access services abroad – were recently pulled from China's App Store in compliance with stricter state rules.

The Wuzhen-based conference was opened earlier on Sunday with comments from Chinese president Xi Junping, read by the head of the government's publicity department, in which Xi advocated for "cyber sovereignty", the idea that states should be permitted to manage and contain their own internet without external interference.

"Developments online are raising many new challenges to sovereignty and security, and China is willing to work with the international community to respect cyberspace sovereignty and promote partnerships," said Xi in the note. "The development of China's cyberspace is entering a fast lane... China's doors will only become more and more open."

China remains the world's biggest smartphone market, one which historically Apple has struggled to penetrate. The company shipped an estimated 11 million iPhones in China last quarter, up 40 percent from the year-ago quarter, despite six consecutive quarters of declining iPhone sales in the region.

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

MH01 Avatar
85 months ago
Says it all - Tim choosing his words carefully not not upset his hosts . Guys a massive hypocrite - at least the other CEOs acknowledge they are there just for profit, be it east or west, Tim fakesness when it comes to China....or west.... or both is a huge dispointment .

China is a huge market , with huge profits to be made. That is the reality , and shows how our companies kiss ass to do business .... even if they pretend to be all fluffy and nice.... realty , it's all about the $$$$
Score: 22 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Kabeyun Avatar
85 months ago
Says it all - Tim choosing his words carefully not not upset his hosts . Guys a massive hypocrite - at least the other CEOs acknowledge they are there just for profit, be it east or west, Tim fakesness when it comes to China....or west.... or both is a huge dispointment .

China is a huge market , with huge profits to be made. That is the reality , and shows how our companies kiss ass to do business .... even if they pretend to be all fluffy and nice.... realty , it's all about the $$$$
To be CEO of a multinational corporation, let alone the world’s most valuable one, is also to be a politician, not just a business expert. You develop business, i.e. profit, around the world as effectively as possible. Yes, exactly; he’s choosing his words carefully. Wise politicians speak delicately when they’re trying to get their way, especially in potentially hostile territory. Wise politicians don’t stamp their feet, pout about unfairness, and take a dump in the lap of countries where they’re trying to foster business, especially countries as state-controlled at China. I’m sure it looks different from the comfort of a slacktivist’s living room couch, but that’s why he’s him and we’re us.
Score: 19 Votes (Like | Disagree)
IPPlanMan Avatar
84 months ago
Says it all - Tim choosing his words carefully not not upset his hosts . Guys a massive hypocrite - at least the other CEOs acknowledge they are there just for profit, be it east or west, Tim fakesness when it comes to China....or west.... or both is a huge dispointment .

China is a huge market , with huge profits to be made. That is the reality , and shows how our companies kiss ass to do business .... even if they pretend to be all fluffy and nice.... realty , it's all about the $$$$
Exactly.

Tim willingly suspends his principles for Chinese money and production efficiency.

If Tim was really against Chinese censorship, he’d suspend business and ties with the regime and manufacture devices in other countries, including the United States.

I’m disappointed to see this hypocritical behavior by him, but not surprised.
Score: 18 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Kaibelf Avatar
85 months ago
Says it all - Tim choosing his words carefully not not upset his hosts . Guys a massive hypocrite - at least the other CEOs acknowledge they are there just for profit, be it east or west, Tim fakesness when it comes to China....or west.... or both is a huge dispointment .

China is a huge market , with huge profits to be made. That is the reality , and shows how our companies kiss ass to do business .... even if they pretend to be all fluffy and nice.... realty , it's all about the $$$$
Go ahead and be a foreign social justice warrior running a huge company and insult a major trading partner and manufacturing base. I’m sure the employees you’d have to lay off as a result would be comforted by it.

Or if you feel so strongly about it, go become CEO of Apple and show everyone how it’s done.
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)
alex2792 Avatar
84 months ago
Tim Cook also threatens to boycott a state over a tranny bathroom bill while happily selling iPhones in Saudi Arabia. I think it’s safe to say that he’s a hypocrite of the highest order.
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
25ghosts Avatar
84 months ago
Tim Cook should focus more on the deteriorating quality of his software rather than portraying the global player.

Either Tim doesn't use Apple's software or he has no taste !

Either way, he is turning Apple in to a Microsoft-like company. Where quality suffers.

What Steve left him, could have been sold and ran by a 5 year old and it would still take a decade to turn in to rubble. 2024 - Apple will not be anything like it is today unless they find someone with taste and mass-empathy to run and lead the company !
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

maxresdefault

iPhone SE 4 With Face ID Said to Be Priced Below $500

Monday May 20, 2024 3:43 am PDT by
Apple is targeting a sub-$500 starting price for its upcoming fourth-generation iPhone SE model despite a raft of rumored upgrades coming to the more affordable device. According to leaker Revegnus on X, the U.S. launch price of the fourth-generation iPhone SE will either remain at the same $429 starting price as the current model, or will see an increase of around 10%. Either way, Apple's...
iOS 17

Apple Releases iOS 17.5.1 With Fix for Reappearing Photos Bug

Monday May 20, 2024 10:11 am PDT by
Apple today released iOS 17.5.1 and iPadOS 17.5.1, minor updates to the iOS 17 and iPadOS 17 operating system updates that came out last September. The 17.5.1 updates come a week after the launch of iOS 17.5 and iPadOS 17.5. iOS 17.5.1 and iPadOS 17.5.1 can be downloaded on eligible iPhones and iPads over-the-air by going to Settings > General > Software Update. According to Apple's...
iPhone 16 Pro Max Generic Feature 2

5 Biggest Changes Rumored for iPhone 16 Pro Max

Tuesday May 21, 2024 7:29 am PDT by
Given Apple's rumored plan to add an all-new high-end tier to its iPhone 17 series in 2025, this could be the year for Apple to bring its boldest "Pro Max" model to the table — the kind of iPhone 16 upgrade that stands tall above its siblings, both figuratively and literally. If you have been holding out for the iPhone 16 Pro Max, here are five of the biggest changes rumored to be coming...
microsoft surface pro qualcomm

Microsoft Says New Surface Pro is Faster Than 15" M3 MacBook Air

Monday May 20, 2024 3:19 pm PDT by
Microsoft is going all in on AI, today introducing a series of Copilot+ PCs that have AI-focused hardware. The new Surface Pro is one of the first Copilot+ PCs, equipped with Qualcomm's Arm-based Snapdragon X Elite processor. Microsoft is already pitting the Surface Pro against Apple's M3 MacBook Air, and in marketing materials, claims that the Surface Pro has superior processing power and...
iPhone 16 Camera Lozenge 2 Perspective

iPhone 16 Lineup Rumored to Come in These Two New Colors

Sunday May 19, 2024 11:08 am PDT by
Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo today outlined his expectations for the iPhone 16 lineup's color options, revealing that two new colors should replace two of the existing shades. Kuo outlined his expectations in a post on X (formerly Twitter) earlier today. He believes that the iPhone 16 Pro and iPhone 16 Pro Max will be available in black, white or silver, gray or "Natural Titanium," and rose....