What’s Cook-ing in China?

Marc Sanchez Mar 27, 2012

If Apple’s relationship with China was adapted to Quentin Tarantino’s “Pulp Fiction,” Tim Cook would play the part of Winston “the Wolf” Wolfe. For those not up on your Tarantino, that’s the Harvey Keitel character that knows how to solve problems. Anyway, Tim “the Wolf” Cook flew to China yesterday to meet with government officials about who owns the “iPad” name and fair labor practices in China’s manufacturing facilities. As big as Apple is in the States, it’s only seen as a mediocre-sized player in China. Reuters reports: “Cook has said that Apple has merely scratched the surface in China as it looks to expand. It has only five stores in the country, though it also sells through more than 100 resellers.”

Executives at Proview, the company that’s suing Apple, claiming it owns the rights to the iPad name, has been mum on whether Cook will visit their offices, but I can’t imagine a trip halfway around the world wouldn’t involve, at least, ringing the doorbell at Proview HQ.

Reuters continues: “Apple is also reviewing labour standards at the Taiwan firm it uses to assemble its iPhones and iPads, Foxconn Technology Group, which has been accused of running sweatshops in China.” Cook, before he took over honcho-ing Apple, helped build the company’s reliance on the Chinese distribution chain that dominates pretty much every piece electronics equipment you can lay your eyes on. And what’s fair when it comes to time spent on the factory floors? The standard work week in China is 60 hours.

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