Apple CEO Tim Cook meets BYD, other key mainland suppliers in Shanghai as US tech giant opens 57th China store

Apple CEO Tim Cook meets BYD, other key mainland suppliers in Shanghai as US tech giant opens 57th China store

Apple CEO Tim Cook meets BYD, other key mainland suppliers in Shanghai as US tech giant opens 57th China store

At Apple’s office in Shanghai, Cook on Wednesday met two billionaire company founders: Wang Chuanfu, the chairman and chief executive of the world’s largest electric vehicle maker BYD, and Zhou Qunfei, the chairwoman and chief executive of touch screen manufacturer Lens Technology.

Also present at the meeting was Chen Xiaoshuo, chief executive at electronic components manufacturer Shenzhen Everwin Precision Technology.

Cook’s get-together with the three contract manufacturing partners was held ahead of the opening on Thursday of a new Apple Store in Shanghai’s Jing’an district, the centre of China’s financial hub. It is the 57th Apple Store in the company’s Greater China region, which includes Hong Kong, Taiwan and Macau.
Apple chief executive Tim Cook meets with the leaders of three key mainland suppliers in Shanghai on March 20, 2024. From left to right: Chen Xiaoshuo of Shenzhen Everwin Precision Technology, Lens Technology’s Zhou Qunfei and BYD’s Wang Chuanfu. Photo: Handout
The meeting reflected Cook’s efforts to give assurances to Apple’s supply chain partners on the mainland, even as the company’s other electronics contract manufacturers diversify their operations into countries like India and Vietnam.

Cook said Apple has been expanding its supply chain in China and increasing investment over the past 30 years, according to his interview with China Daily on Wednesday.

“There’s no supply chain in the world that’s more critical to us than China,” Cook said in the report.

BYD founder Wang Chuanfu, third from left, and Apple chief executive Tim Cook listen to a presentation in Shanghai on March 20, 2024. Photo: Weibo

Shenzhen-based BYD – founded by Wang, 58, in 1995 – has been an Apple supplier since 2008. BYD started with processing metal casings used for various Apple products.

The Chinese conglomerate, which is backed by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway, has since expanded its contract-manufacturing activities to glass and structural components, as well as specific assembly work for devices including the iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch.

In a move to accelerate that business, BYD last year acquired US-based Jabil’s mobile electronics manufacturing business for 15.8 billion yuan (US$2 billion).

Lens Technology founder Zhou Qunfei, second from right, and Apple chief executive Tim Cook check out certain components displayed at Apple’s office in Shanghai on March 20, 2024. Photo: Weibo
Lens Technology – founded in 2003 by Zhou in Changsha, capital of southern Hunan province – has been an Apple partner since 2006. After supplying glass screen protectors for the first-generation iPhone, the Chinese firm now produces glass and various metal components for a range of Apple products including the latest Vision Pro mixed-reality headset.

Zhou, 54, told Cook that the cover glass of the Vision Pro was “the most difficult product [to develop] in my 35-year career”, according to a report by

Everwin Precision, meanwhile, has been working with Apple on the application of recycled materials in the company’s various products, Chen was quoted as saying in the report.

The Shenzhen-based firm started working with Apple in 2012 as a supplier of metal components for Mac computers. It now also supplies components for the Apple Watch and Vision Pro.

Hundreds of Apple enthusiasts are seen in a queue, waiting outside the company’s new retail store in Shanghai ahead of its opening on March 21, 2024. Photo: Weibo

By noon on Thursday, hundreds of Apple enthusiasts – some of whom arrived the night before – queued patiently outside the company’s new retail store to take part in its grand opening, according to various Chinese social media posts.

Many lined up for the usual gifts and freebies that have become a tradition for a new Apple Store opening.

The gift box for the Jing’an store – including a sticker, a pin and a canvas bag with Apple logo decorated with a Yulan magnolia – has already been posted on online second-hand goods trading platform Xianyu, where it is being sold for up to 500 yuan. Xianyu is operated by Alibaba Group Holding, which owns the South China Morning Post.

Source link