Jason Lee | Reuters
Apple CEO Tim Cook attends the annual session of China Development Forum (CDF) 2018 at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse in Beijing, China March 26, 2018.
State-run news agency Xinhua reported that Cook met with Chinese Vice Premier Sun Chunlan on Friday. Apple did not immediately return a request for comment on the topic of the meeting or other reasons for Cook’s trip to China, but Xinhua said Sun “made positive remarks” about Apple’s role in relations between the U.S. and China.
According to local reports, Cook also visited an online education company that is incorporating augmented reality into its product and met with a Chinese musician as he touted Apple’s streaming service. Cook has been in the country since Thursday and has posted about the trip on Weibo, 9to5Mac reported.
It’s unclear if Cook will be in attendance at this weekend’s Chinese Economic Forum, though Apple is listed as a participating group on the event’s website. Cook attended the forum last year, where he had called for data privacy regulation following Facebook’s Cambridge Analytica scandal that revealed the agency exploited millions of user data without their explicit consent.
Cook’s trip follows a turbulent year for commerce between the U.S. and China due to ongoing trade tensions between the two countries. Apple’s revenue in the region was hit hard in its first quarter 2019, dropping nearly $5 billion from the previous year. Cook had cited economic slowdowns in China as a chief cause for its disappointing revenue in the quarter, but still expressed optimism in an interview with CNBC following the report.
“I’m encouraged by the comments coming out of both countries,” Cook told CNBC’s Josh Lipton at the time. But the path forward between the two countries still remains unsettled.
Cook is expected back in the U.S. by Monday, when Apple is hosting its own event where analysts anticipate it will unveil a new streaming service.