Apple CEO Tim Cook Takes A Tour Of Foxconn During Trip To China

In his first visit to China as head honcho of the company, Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook made time to take a tour of one of the company’s key suppliers, Foxconn. The plant has been in the news again recently after This American Life retracted Mike Daisey’s story about visiting it for not being so factual.

Cook visited Foxconn back in 2010, after multiple suicides raised concerns about working conditions in there. The manufacturing facility in Zhengzhou makes iPhones and iPads, and employs 120,000 people.

If there were any underage workers there, as Daisey claimed, we’re sure they were kept out of sight on Cook’s visit. Daisey later claimed he lied about his trip to make people care about the problems there again.

While in China, says the L.A. Times, Cook also met with several of the country’s top leaders, in an apparent attempt to make nice with the country, and in turn, sell more Apple products there. They’re currently in a legal battle with Chinese company Proview, which says they own the trademarks for the iPad name in China.

“We firmly believe that no matter what effect Cook’s visit has on government relations, Apple’s intellectual property infringement has already reached a final verdict, and that the company must receive the ultimate punishment according to Chinese law,” wrote a Proview company executive in a blog post.

Apple CEO Tim Cook visits Foxconn plant while on China trip [L.A. Times]

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  1. xl22k says:

    I’m sure they were on their best behavior for the visit…

    • elangomatt says:

      Too bad he couldn’t just drop in and say “Oh I was just in the area so I thought I’d stop by to take a look around”.

      • dwtomek says:

        Certainly he could have. It just would have thrown plausible deniability right out the window.

  2. Cat says:

    “…the company must receive the ultimate punishment according to Chinese law.”

    So, Death?

  3. GuyGuidoEyesSteveDave‚Ñ¢ says:

    Did he try out the nets?

  4. ElDiablo says:

    I’ve seen the same “clean everything up, the boss is coming” at several jobs. Did a great job of whitewashing the problems.

    • Solkanar512 says:

      Seriously, most audits are a complete joke. And I used to work in the food “safety” industry.

    • jayphat says:

      I remember a few years ago when at my previous employer some big wig flew in from Arkansas. He introduced himself to the store manager who had a pen and paper ready to go. He asked the store manager to get one of the “best hourly department managers you have”. The girl came up, he looked at the store manager, and told him to go away. He walked for 3 hours with the employee because he knew all he would get was fluff from the store manager.

  5. Cat says:

    Cook should select a random worker and spend the night with them in their home – well, they probably don’t have a home. But he’d learn a lot that way…

    • cosmic.charlie says:

      That is what Mcdonalds does. Their VP (or Pres for China) I don’t know for sure spends a few hours at the apt of your average Chinese person to understand better what they need/want.

    • rpm773 says:

      “You! Worker! Tonight I shall sleep with you in your bed and you will enjoy a night of pleasure such that you’ve never had! And I shall learn..um..er..a lot!”

  6. Phil Keeps It Real [Consumerist] says:

    Ze plane, Boss, ze plane !

  7. MichaelRyanSD says:

    Yeah I’m sure all the employees where happy to be there and had smiles on their faces.

  8. dolemite says:

    One day I’d like to visit China. It will be like looking 25 years into the future of America.

  9. Blueskylaw says:

    “Apple CEO Tim Cook Takes A Tour Of Foxconn During Trip To China”

    According to press reports, people were literally
    jumping out windows for the opportunity to meet him.

  10. Jevia says:

    Next time, hire a film crew and become an “undercover boss.”

  11. SPOON - now with Forkin attitude says:

    put him on the line, make him sign the back of a bunch of ipads or something random.

  12. gman863 says:

    I wonder what he thought of the suicide prevention nets Foxconn has installed around their buildings to prevent jumping deaths.

    (Serious. If you want proof, go to abcnews.com and look up the story where ABC news toured the Foxconn plant about a month ago.)