Apple CEO Tim Cook is visiting China to speak with government officials as the consumer electronics giant looks to further its investment in the area. It will be Cook’s first visit to the country after becoming CEO of Apple last year.
The Wall Street Journal reports that an Apple spokesperson said China was very important to the company and it looks forward to “even greater investment and growth” in the country.
No details were given on what Cook discussed with government officials. He last visited the region in June 2011 as COO of Apple, before becoming CEO in August.
Cook’s visit will be important for Apple, as China is the world’s largest mobile market by number of subscribers and the largest PC market. It’s also Apple’s second-largest market.
It will also be important as Apple has drawn controversy over labour practices at iPhone and iPad manufacturing plants in China, Foxconn worker suicides in 2010 and recent reports of accidents killing and injuring workers.
In February, Apple allowed the Fair Labour Association to conduct audits of its final assembly suppliers in China, including Foxconn.
Apple also faces a legal battle in China over the iPad name with Proview Technology. While Apple signed an agreement with Proview’s Taiwanese affiliate over the rights to the iPad name in China, Proview Technology argues that the Taiwanese branch did not have the rights to sell this name. It’s attempting to block the sale of Apple’s iPads in the region with cases pending across China and Hong Kong.
A Proview Technology attorney has reportedly said it is not expecting to meet with Cook during his trip to China.