Apple CEO Tim Cook is one of the high-profile attendees expected to attend a Chinese state-run forum this Saturday through Monday in Beijing, China, focusing on “economic recovery.”
The conference, the China Development Forum, is themed around economic recovery, opportunity, and cooperation for international companies in the Chinese market. Over one hundred executives from several industries are expected to attend, ranging from biopharmaceuticals and consumer electronics. Samsung’s executive chairman, Lee Jae-Yong, is scheduled to participate alongside Pfizer CEO Albert Bourlaother, Mercedes-Benz Ola Källenius, and Apple’s Tim Cook, according to an attendance manifest seen by Bloomberg.
Cook has attended the conference in the past, such as in 2018, where he called for stricter privacy regulations and stricter control for users over their data amid Facebook, now Meta’s, massive Cambridge Analytica scandal.
Cook’s attendance at the conference comes at a pivotal point for Apple as it looks to continue to diversify its supply chain away from China and into other emerging markets, including India and Vietnam. Earlier this month, Apple’s largest supplier Foxconn announced a $200 million investment in India to build a new factory that will produce AirPods.
Such investments of this magnitude in India and Vietnam have been a regular occurrence over the last two years by some of Apple’s largest suppliers as tensions between Washington and Beijing continue to ramp up. In December 2021, The Information reported that Cook “secretly” signed a deal valued at upwards of $275 billion with the Chinese government to see Apple help China build “the most advanced manufacturing technologies” in return for giving Apple regulatory leniency.