Apple CEO Tim Cook visits Shanghai amid a slowdown in China iPhone sales

Apple CEO Tim Cook is on a visit to Shanghai, according to a post on his official Weibo account on Wednesday, ahead of the inauguration of a new retail store and amid declining iPhone sales in the country.

A video attached to the post showed Cook taking a stroll in one of the city’s popular tourist districts and having breakfast with Chinese actor and television personality Zheng Kai.

According to a news release on Monday, the new retail store, located in the city’s Jing’an district, will open Thursday. 

Cook often visits China — a vital market and manufacturing base for Apple — to launch products, open factories and meet with local officials. Earlier this month, Apple also announced plans to expand its research centers in Shanghai and Shenzhen. 

His latest trip also comes amid reports that iPhone sales in China declined 24% in the first six weeks of 2024 compared with the same period a year earlier.

The decline in sales was partly due to abnormally high shipments by Apple at the start of 2023 but also increased competition from local brands such as Huawei, according to analysts.

Last year, Cook visited China in October following reports that iPhone 15 sales in the country were weaker compared with sales of the earlier model. 

That trip came a month after reports on employees at China’s central government agencies being banned from using iPhones for work. The Chinese Foreign Ministry denied the reports

On Friday, Apple reportedly agreed to pay $490 million to settle a class-action lawsuit alleging that Cook misled investors about a steep downturn in iPhone sales in China back in November 2018, according to a preliminary settlement filed in federal court in Oakland, California.

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