Apple CEO Tim Cook expects continued growth for ‘cutting-edge’ Chinese software developers amid rising geopolitical tensions
- Apple’s five million registered software developers in Greater China account for about a sixth of the company’s 30-million-strong developer community worldwide
- Tim Cook’s recent discussions with a new generation of Chinese software developers reflect Apple’s long-standing business interests in the country
“Chinese developers have always been at the cutting edge, and I think that will continue to grow,” Cook told Chinese tech media Shaoshupai on the sidelines of Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) last week. This annual event was held from June 6 to 10 at the company’s headquarters in Cupertino, California.
“I cannot wait to see what you are going to do next,” Cook said. In a video released by China Daily on Tuesday, Cook was quoted as saying that the five million registered Apple developers in Greater China, which includes Hong Kong, account for about a sixth of the company’s 30-million-strong developer community around the world.
They have made the region “one of the most vibrant developer communities in the entire world”, he said.
An Apple representative on Tuesday said the company does not disclose the timing of those discussions.
While Cook’s keynote at the WWDC this year did not specifically mention the Greater China market, he has retained the goodwill of Chinese software developers, media reports on the mainland said.
Cook has had a track record of praising the Chinese market, its consumers and developers in previous editions of the WWDC. In 2018, for example, he said Apple’s QR code and dual subscriber identity module features were inspired by what Chinese consumers demand.
Apple, under Cook, has maintained a smooth relationship with Beijing, despite some sporadic consumer boycotts of the firm’s products in China. Cook heads up the advisory committee for the economic management school at Tsinghua University, which gives him access to China’s national leaders.
Cook signed an agreement with government officials, estimated to be worth about US$275 billion, to help China develop its technological prowess and to head off state action which would have hobbled Apple’s devices and services in the country, according to a report by tech media outlet The Information at the end of last year.