Apple chief vows to boost China investment amid tensions

Apple chief vows to boost China investment amid tensions

Apple CEO Tim Cook is back in China as he looks to smooth over regulatory tensions in the country.

He reportedly told government officials that Apple would increase its investments in China and build a research facility there, according to a state television report cited by The Wall Street Journal.

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Quartz reported that Cook was documenting his trip to the country on Sina Weibo, a popular Chinese social media tool. He visited with a Chinese fashion designer who uses an iPad and a gym where students were using Apple Watches.

His visit — said to be his ninth to China — comes as the tech giant looks to overcome regulatory problems it has faced with local authorities.

China blocked Apple’s iTunes movie and e-book stores this spring, prompting concerns over whether the company’s generally good relationship with the country was souring.

Cook said in May that Apple was “pretty confident and optimistic that we’ll be back online and offering those to our Chinese customers soon.”

The dustup was notable because Apple has traditionally enjoyed a better relationship with China than many other American technology firms. Both Google and Facebook are currently not accessible to users in mainland China.

Apple’s business in China has also recently fallen off, with revenues in China, Hong Kong and Taiwan falling by 33 percent since last year.