Apple, Foxconn Technology CEOs Met to Discuss China Expansion, Xinhua Says

Apple Inc. (AAPL) Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook met with Terry Gou, chairman of its major supplier Foxconn Technology Group, on Feb. 13, to discuss possible expansion in China, Xinhua News Agency reported.

Gou was accompanying Guo Gengmao, governor of Henan Province where Foxconn currently has factories making products for Apple, the state-run news agency reported yesterday. Simon Hsing, spokesman for Foxconn’s Taipei-listed flagship Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., told Bloomberg News today that Gou was scheduled to take a six-day overseas trip this week and couldn’t confirm locations or whom he was to meet.

Foxconn employs about 1 million people in China, and has four locations in the country that manufacture iPads, iPhones and MacBook laptops for Cupertino, California-based Apple. The Henan government is seeking closer cooperation with the U.S. company, and the governor outlined the province’s abundant labor supply and low logistics costs, Xinhua reported.

Carolyn Wu, a Beijing-based spokeswoman at Apple, didn’t immediately return calls to her office and mobile phones seeking comment.

Apple on Feb. 13 said the Washington-based Fair Labor Association began inspections at Foxconn at its own request as part of audits of labor conditions at suppliers. Hon Hai assembles iPads and iPhones, unit Foxconn Technology Co. (2354) makes metal cases for those two devices as well as MacBooks, while affiliate Chimei Innolux Corp. (3481) supplies displays for the iPad.

To contact the reporter on this story: Tim Culpan in Taipei at tculpan1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Tighe at mtighe4@bloomberg.net

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