Labourers at the iPhone production plant in the newly built Foxconn Zhengzhou Technology Park in the north central province of Hebei, China had a surprise visitor – the Apple chief! Tim Cook who's on a visit to China; his first, since he assumed the role of the chief executive officer, after the maverick late Steve Jobs, has been making the most of his maiden trip to the country. Production plants by Foxconn Technology Group in the country were in the past, grabbing global headlines for all the wrong reasons. The factory owners were accused of subjecting their workers to much harassment, which in some cases even worsened to the point of suicides. The report details that the handouts given show a smiling Cook greeting workers at the newly built plant with 120,000 employees during his maiden visit to the country with a massive fan following for the ‘iProducts'.
Tim Cook inside the Foxconn plant (Image credit: Bloomberg)
Only recently, after instances of labourers resorting to such extreme steps rose alarmingly, and was covered with a critical pen by a publication, Cook typed down a detailed e-mail to his employees that quite contrary to the word going around about Apple being least concerned about the welfare of their workers, the company had their best interests in mind. Pressing on this, further, Cook requested officials of the Fair Labor Organization to conduct inspections across their supplier factories, wherein the officials interviewed the workers about their working conditions, living conditions, health issues, compensations, among other things.
Apple's iPad tablet, too has been the cause of a rather bitter lawsuit in the country, which is currently on between Apple and China-based, Proview Technology who claim that they are the rightful owners of the trademark term – iPad – and that Apple is infringing on their rights by selling the tablet in China. The sales of the tablet in the country have taken a beating, since Proview Technology managed to impose a rather successful, temporary impoundment – directing all major retailers in the country to refrain from selling the tablets.
Earlier in the day, we reported about Cook meeting the Chinese vice premier, Li Keqiang who assured him that China would improve the intellectual property protection, understandably, in a bid to improve relations between the two entities. China, the world’s largest mobile market also happens to be the second-largest market for Apple.