Tim Cook has kicked off 2013 with a second visit to China. The Apple CEO met with Miao Wei, head of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, to discuss the development of China’s information technology industry, mobile communications, and Apple’s expansion in China.
The Cupertino company has doubled its number of retail outlets in the nation, and its iOS devices are becoming increasingly popular there. Cook’s last visit to China came in March 2010 before he pledged “greater investment” in the world’s largest market for consumer technology.
Since then, Apple has opened five stores in China and Hong Kong, bringing its total number of locations up to 11. There were just six Apple stores when Cook last visited China.
Carolyn Wu, Apple spokeswoman, told Bloomberg that no other details were available regarding Cook’s meeting with Miao. Wu also couldn’t provide details on how long Cook would be in China, or who else he would meet.
Cook’s last visit saw him tour a Foxconn plant where Apple’s Macs and iOS devices are assembled. It’s unclear whether that’s on his agenda this time.
Cook’s trip may also include a visit to China Mobile, the world’s largest mobile provider. Apple has enjoyed a lot of success with the iPhone in China, but the device is yet to become available on China Mobile. Talks between the two companies have reportedly been ongoing since the iPhone debuted in 2007, but a deal is yet to come to fruition.
Steve Jobs, Apple’s co-founder and former CEO, revealed to his biographer Walter Isaacson that he had never been to China. This is Cook’s second trip in ten months.