1st LD-Writethru: Apple eyes further China expansion as CEO visits Beijing
BEIJING, Mar 26, 2012 (Xinhua via COMTEX) --
Apple Inc. said it was eyeing
greater investment and growth in China on Monday as its chief
executive Tim Cook visited Beijing.
The U.S. electronics giant confirmed that Cook had meetings
with Chinese officials when the chief executive said he is looking
forward to even greater investment and growth in China by Apple.
Cook also visited an Apple store at Joy City Mall in the busy
Xidan shopping area in downtown Beijing.
Cook had a short stay at the store on Monday morning when he
posed for pictures with customers, one staff recalled.
Cook's first China visit as Apple's CEO triggered speculation
that Apple might change its market strategy towards China, Apple's
biggest market outside his home market. Apple's founder and former
CEO Steve Jobs, who died last October, never visited China.
Many Apple fans and experts said Apple might launch sales of
its products on the Chinese mainland at earlier dates in the
Apple usually starts selling its iconic iPhone and iPads in
China months after debuting them in the United States and other
major markets. The practices have triggered complaints from Apple
fans and also led to opportunities for scalpers on the black
"In terms of either influence or importance, the Chinese market
should be among the first group on Apple's market strategy," said
Chen Jinqiao, deputy chief engineer of the China Academy of
Telecommunication Research under the Ministry of Industry and
Liu Guanwu, an analyst at Analysys International, also believed
that Apple might change its China market strategy. Cook has
reiterated the importance of Chinese market on many occasions, Liu
There is also speculation that Cook might meet with executives
of China Unicom and China Telecom during his visit to talk about
the introduction of the new generation iPhone.
China Telecom, the country's third-largest mobile carrier,
joined its bigger rival China Unicom in selling the iPhone early
the month, bringing Apple tens of millions of potential customers.
But not all is going well for Apple in China, as it is
currently locked in a legal dispute with Chinese electronics firm
Proview Shenzhen over the rights to use the "iPad" trademark in
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