Apple CEO Tim Cook rocks on in China

by David Needle

March 29 2012

Apple CEO Tim Cook visited Foxconn's iPhone production line in Zhengzhou, China this week (Photo: Apple)
Apple CEO Tim Cook visited Foxconn's iPhone production line in Zhengzhou, China this week (Photo: Apple)

The high profile visit by Apple CEO Tim Cook to China continued this week with a stop at the company’s key manufacturing partner Foxconn Technology Group.

Cook is known to have taken a keen interest in improving worker safety and conditions at Apple’s supply chain partners. He’s also an expert on manufacturing and cost control issues that he dealt with extensively in his previous role as Chief Operating Officer at Apple responsible for the tech giant’s worldwide sales and operations. 

In Zhengzhou China, Cook visited the Foxconn plant that makes the iPhone. He was spotted earlier this week arriving in China reportedly to meet with government officials but not much else is known about his agenda. 

A Bloomberg report says Cook visited the iPhone production line at the new Foxconn Zhengzhou Technology Park that employs 120,000 people. Foxconn also makes the iPad. 

Apple became the first technology company to join the Fair Labor Association in January and has made its suppliers’ factories open to inspections by the Washington-based group after complaints by human rights organizations. The group found “tons of issues,” while also seeing “dramatic” improvements, FLA CEO Auret van Heerden said last month.

While not approaching the legendary status of the late Apple CEO Steve Jobs, a report in the Wall Street Journal earlier this week said Cook was recognized right away by Apple fans upon his arrival in China where he is known as “Captain Cook.” 

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