Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook expressed support for globalisation and said China should continue to open its economy to foreign firms, while speaking at a forum in Beijing on Saturday. “I think it’s important that China continues to open itself and widens the door if you will,” said Cook, speaking at the government-sponsored China Development Forum. Cook’s comments come amid rising tensions between the U.S. and China, with protectionist rhetoric from U.S. President Donald Trump sparking concern of increased trade friction between the two countries.
“The reality is countries that are closed, that isolate themselves, it’s not good for their people,” said Cook, in a rare public speech. Apple said on Friday it will set up two new research and development centres in Shanghai and Suzhou in China. It has pledged to invest more than 3.5 billion yuan ($508 million) in research and development in China.
Apple has been singled out in Chinese media as a potential target for retaliation in the event of a trade war. The Global Times warned last November if Trump triggered a trade war with China, Beijing would then target firms from Boeing to Apple in a “tit-for-tat” approach.
Apple CEO Tim Cook had also called for a crackdown on the epidemic of fake news and asked the governments to launch a public information campaign, media reports said. According to a report in Telegraph, Cook said that fake news was ‘killing people’s minds’ and necessitates a crackdown by the authorities and technology firms that would help providers of quality journalism and help drive out clickbait.
“The outcome of that is that truthful, reliable, non-sensational, deep news outlets will win,” Cook was quoted as saying. To educate the people about the threat posed by fabricated online stories, Cook pitched for a campaign akin to those that changed public attitude towards environment.
“We are going through this period of time right here where unfortunately some of the people that are winning are the people that spend their time trying to get the most clicks, not tell the most truth. It’s killing people’s minds in a way,” Cook said.