Apple CEO Tim Cook Promotes Benefits of Globalization in China Speech

On Saturday, Apple CEO Tim Cook gave a talk to the attendees of the China Development Forum 2017, where he commented on a range of issues including globalization, economics, and data privacy.

According to a report from The Wall Street Journal, the heads of western corporations sometimes attend the convention to improve their ties with high ranking officials in the Chinese cent

During his speech, Cook said globalization “in general is great for the world,” but noted socioeconomic gains may not be evenly distributed within or between countries. Despite the shortcomings of globalization, countries should not shy away from such developmental government. Cook said:

“I think the worst thing would be to — because it didn’t help everyone — is to say it’s bad and do less of that. I think the reality is you can see that countries in the world…that isolate themselves, it’s not good for their people.”

The subject is a contentious one for Apple, a U.S. company that farms out a bulk of its manufacturing operations to China. President Donald Trump recently called for Apple to bring iPhone production to America, a move that would stimulate the domestic economy.

Beyond economics, Cook touched on cybersecurity and user privacy, both highly sensitive subjects in China. Cook said Apple employs end-to-end encryption to protect its customers from malicious actors. In regards to privacy, he said:

“We think that an individual should own their data and should be able to control their data.”

Cook is in China to bolster relations with the country’s central government. Apple’s top executive is slated to speak with Xu Lin, director of the Cyberspace Administration of China, in a private meeting on Monday.

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