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Apple CEO Tim Cook said the company would donate to earthquake relief efforts in China’s southwestern province of Sichuan. Photo: AP

Apple CEO Tim Cook pledges donations to China’s earthquake-hit Sichuan province

  • Cook said Apple would donate to support relief efforts in the southwestern province, which was hit by an earthquake on Monday
  • Domestic tech giants Alibaba, Tencent, ByteDance, NetEase, Xiaomi and others have donated millions of dollars

Apple CEO Tim Cook has pledged to donate to relief efforts in China’s earthquake-stricken Sichuan province, in the latest sign of goodwill from the American tech billionaire to one of the company’s largest markets.

“Apple will donate to support ongoing relief and rebuilding efforts,” Cook said on Wednesday in a post to his official account on Chinese microblogging platform Weibo. “Our hearts go out to all the families and communities affected by the earthquake in Sichuan”.

Greater China and Europe make up two of Apple’s largest international markets. In the second quarter, iPhone shipments in China surged 25 per cent from a year ago to 9.9 million units, according to market analysis firm Canalys. Half of all premium handsets sold in the country were iPhones, according to Counterpoint research.


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Cook’s pledge comes days after he sent his condolences and promised aid to the people of Pakistan, where floods have displaced more than 33 million residents and destroyed over a billion homes.
Apple also pledged donations last year to victims affected by deadly floods in China’s northern Shanxi and central Henan provinces.
While Cook did not specify the amount of money Apple would donate to Sichuan, the Californian giant joins a growing list of tech companies vowing to contribute to disaster relief efforts in the southwestern province, where a 6.8-magnitude earthquake on Monday killed at least 74 people.

E-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding, social media and video gaming powerhouse Tencent Holdings, TikTok owner ByteDance, electric vehicle makers BYD Auto and Li Auto, as well as electric car battery manufacturer CATL have each set aside 5 million yuan (US$718,000) for recovery efforts in Sichuan.

China’s second largest video gaming company NetEase and smartphone maker Xiaomi contributed 1.5 million yuan and 1 million yuan, respectively.

Big Tech companies in China have been heeding Beijing’s call to pursue “common prosperity” to help tackle social and economic inequality.

Alibaba, owner of the South China Morning Post, earmarked 100 billion yuan last year to support the cause, while Tencent set up two funds totalling 100 billion yuan.