For the second time since becoming Apple’s CEO, Tim Cook is visiting China. Last time out he publicly toured Foxconn’s manufacturing plants to ascertain how bad the working conditions were on the assembly lines dedicated to making his company’s products. This time out, the purpose of his visit is unclear.Except for discussing the development of China’s communications industry with the country’s head of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, it’s not clear why he’s there.
WSJ speculates that there are many plausible reasons for his visit. He could be further scrutinizing the manufacturing process, or to thrash out a deal with China Mobile (the world’s most popular carrier). What is known is that China is fast becoming of increasing importance to Apple. It’s already Apple’s #2 market for sales, despite only having 8 stores in the nation. It’s expected that during Apple’s earnings call later this month will reveal just how important the world’s biggest nation has become.