Apple moves to form ties with Chinese firm

Apple moves to form ties with Chinese firm

Apple moves to form ties with Chinese firm

Apple CEO Tim Cook revealed to have several contacts with Chinese mobile operators in past two days. REUTERS photo

Apple CEO Tim Cook on July 30 met with the head of China Mobile, the world’s largest mobile carrier by subscribers and the only Chinese carrier that doesn’t offer iPhones and iPads.

The meeting with China Mobile Chairman Xi Guohua in Beijing was to discuss matters of cooperation, the Chinese firm told Reuters in an emailed statement. It gave no further details.

The talks could pave the way for a long-awaited deal for China Mobile to distribute Apple products on its vast network, benefiting both companies.

Cook’s meeting with China Mobile follows a 43 percent slump in Apple’s April-June sales in Greater China, which includes Taiwan and Hong Kong, as the technology gap with cheaper local rivals narrows. Any deal between China Mobile and Apple, combined with the Chinese government issuing 4G licenses later this year, could turn around both companies’ fortunes with wider product distribution and faster Internet speeds attracting new smartphone adopters.

Cook also met with top executives from China Telecom, another large telecom provider, when he visited Beijing earlier this week, China Telecom said. Cook had a meeting with China Telecom President Yang Jie and talked about cooperation on future products, but stopped short of giving any details of the next version of the iPhone, said a source at the company,

Greater China is an important market for Apple as it accounted for 13 percent of Apple’s quarterly sales, or $5 billion.