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Apple’s Cook Meets China Mobile Chairman to Discuss Cooperation

Apple Inc. Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook
Apple Inc. Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook visited China Mobile Ltd.’s chairman Xi Guohua at the carrier’s headquarters yesterday morning, China Mobile said. Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg

Apple Inc. Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook met China Mobile Ltd.’s chairman for the second time this year in Beijing to discuss possible cooperation between the iPhone maker and the world’s largest phone company.

Cook visited Xi Guohua at the carrier’s headquarters yesterday morning, China Mobile said in an e-mailed statement today. Kitty Potter, a Beijing-based spokeswoman for Apple, said she had no information on Cook’s agenda.

China Mobile, with 740 million subscribers in the world’s largest handset market, is the only one of the nation’s three carriers not currently offering the iPhone. China Mobile’s third-generation network is incompatible with the device, and Apple hasn’t made the required adjustments.

Cook and Xi held talks in Beijing in January. China is Apple’s second-largest market after the U.S., and China Mobile accounts for 63 percent of the nation’s users. China Mobile Chief Executive Officer Li Yue said last year a deal must be mutually beneficial to both companies.

The current visit comes as Apple said this week it will investigate allegations by advocacy group China Labor Watch that factories run by Taiwanese supplier Pegatron Corp. use underage workers, pay insufficient wages and force employees to work overtime.

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