Feeds

Tim Cook, Chinese vice PM agree IP pact

Apple boss presses the flesh at Zhongnanhai

The essential guide to IT transformation

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. ®

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

More from The Register

next story
6 Obvious Reasons Why Facebook Will Ban This Article (Thank God)
Clampdown on clickbait ... and El Reg is OK with this
No, thank you. I will not code for the Caliphate
Some assignments, even the Bongster decline must
Barnes & Noble: Swallow a Samsung Nook tablet, please ... pretty please
Novelslab finally on sale with ($199 - $20) price tag
Banking apps: Handy, can grab all your money... and RIDDLED with coding flaws
Yep, that one place you'd hoped you wouldn't find 'em
Video of US journalist 'beheading' pulled from social media
Yanked footage featured British-accented attacker and US journo James Foley
Primetime precrime? Minority Report TV series 'being developed'
I have to know. I have to find out what happened to my life
Netflix swallows yet another bitter pill, inks peering deal with TWC
Net neutrality crusader once again pays up for priority access
Judge nixes HP deal for director amnesty after $8.8bn Autonomy snafu
Lawyers will have to earn their keep the hard way, says court
Ex-IBM CEO John Akers dies at 79
An era disrupted by the advent of the PC
prev story

Whitepapers

Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
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.
Backing up distributed data
Eliminating the redundant use of bandwidth and storage capacity and application consolidation in the modern data center.
The essential guide to IT transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIOs automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.