Feeds

Tim Cook, Chinese vice PM agree IP pact

Apple boss presses the flesh at Zhongnanhai

Build a business case: developing custom apps

Apple boss Tim Cook met Chinese vice premier Li Keqiang during his visit to the People’s Republic this week and reportedly managed to come away with a commitment from the future prime minister to strengthen intellectual property protection for it and other firms in the country.

News broke earlier this week that Cook was in China after photos of him in a Beijing Apple Store leaked onto the web, but a Cupertino spokesperson would only say he was meeting with “Chinese officials”.

What has emerged, however, is a carefully orchestrated and high level trip with the CEO of the world’s richest shiny toymaker reportedly given a reception in the Communist Party HQ of Zhongnanhai usually reserved for visiting foreign state officials.

The state-run Xinhua news agency was pretty vague on the details, but the message from Li seemed to be to encourage foreign companies to invest in China and in return it will strengthen intellectual property rights protection.

"To be more open to the outside is a condition for China to transform its economic development, expand domestic demands and conduct technological innovation," he reportedly said.

Cook in return promised Apple would play nice in China and continue to invest there.

Interestingly, amid the fixed smiles and mutual back-slapping one would normally see at a high level political summit, there was a slight dig at Apple from the vice premier.

In an apparent reference to Apple’s Foxconn woes, he reportedly urged multinationals to invest in western China and “pay more attention to caring for their workers”, according to Xinhua.

Apple is awaiting the results of a Fair Labor Association inspection of Foxconn factories and Cook has spoken out in the past against poor pay and conditions for workers, saying that Apple will micro-manage working hours.

However, NGOs and not-profits persist in their allegations of systemic problems at the plants, including underage labour, harsh management tactics and even exposure to hazardous materials.

There was little information too on exactly how China will look to strengthen its IP laws to help firms like Apple. At the moment it’s in the area of trademark protection that fondleslab-maker could really do with some help, given its on-going dispute with monitor firm Proview over the IPAD name.

Presumably, the trip will nonetheless have been regarded as a necessary one, given Li’s predicted ascension to role of PM next year.

Not to be outdone, Cisco boss John Chambers has also been spotted in the People's Republic this week, in his case visiting Chinese state councillor Liu Yandong.

They reportedly discussed Cisco’s efforts to promote the internet in education and definitely did not mention the technology that the firm has been accused of selling China to help build the Great Firewall. ®

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
No, thank you. I will not code for the Caliphate
Some assignments, even the Bongster decline must
Fast And Furious 6 cammer thrown in slammer for nearly three years
Man jailed for dodgy cinema recording of Hollywood movie
Caught red-handed: UK cops, PCSOs, specials behaving badly… on social media
No Mr Fuzz, don't ask a crime victim to be your pal on Facebook
Barnes & Noble: Swallow a Samsung Nook tablet, please ... pretty please
Novelslab finally on sale with ($199 - $20) price tag
Ballmer leaves Microsoft board to spend more time with his b-balls
From Clippy to Clippers: Hi, I see you're running an NBA team now ...
6 Obvious Reasons Why Facebook Will Ban This Article (Thank God)
Clampdown on clickbait ... and El Reg is OK with this
Video of US journalist 'beheading' pulled from social media
Yanked footage featured British-accented attacker and US journo James Foley
Assange™: Hey world, I'M STILL HERE, ignore that Snowden guy
Press conference: ME ME ME ME ME ME ME (cont'd pg 94)
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?