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Apple CEO Tim Cook is visiting China this for meetings with government leaders and key business partners, Bloomberg News reported Wednesday.
It said his latest trip to the country came in part to address his company’s shrinking market share in the world’s largest mobile phone market.
Bloomberg quoted Carolyn Wu, a Beijing-based Apple spokeswoman, as confirming that Cook was in the country for meetings, but she didn’t disclose further details. A statement from the Chinese government indicated that Cook was sitting down with Miao Wei, the head of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology.
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The visit is Cook’s second to China within 10 months. Although Apple has nearly doubled its number of retail outlets in greater China since Cook’s last trip, the Cupertino, California-based company’s mobile phone market share in China has fallen from the fourth to the sixth spot, according to researcher IDC.
Part of the problem, indicated Bloomberg, is that Apple has yet to negotiate an iPhone to be sold and carried by China Mobile, the nation’s largest – and state-backed – cell service provider. China Mobile uses a unique local 3G system not offered by other carriers.
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According to Bloomberg, Apple’s spokeswoman declined to say whether Cook was meeting with China Mobile executives.
At present, Apple has less than 10 percent share of the mobile phone market in China, where cheaper Android phones dominate. Nonetheless, China is the company’s second-largest market behind the U.S., with $5.7 billion in sales recorded there last quarter, Bloomberg said.
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