Apple CEO Cook ‘optimistic’ China getting handle on coronavirus

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CEO Tim Cook photo via Fox Business
Apple CEO 'optimistic' long-term that China is getting control over the coronavirus.
Photo: Fox Business

Apple CEO Tim Cook said he is “optimistic” that China is starting to contain the coronavirus outbreak.

Cook also said device production stalled by quarantines and travels restrictions are now in “ramp mode.”

Cook’s comments came during an interview Wednesday with Susan Li of FOX Business.

It feels to me that China is getting the coronavirus under control,” Cook said. “You look at the numbers, they’re coming down day by day by day. And so I’m very optimistic there.”

His optimism comes one day after a meeting with shareholders, where Cook explained it as a “fairly dynamic situation” and “a challenge.” Earlier this month, Apple told investors that it would not meets March quarter revenue projections of how the virus impacted operations in China.

In his interview with FOX Business, Cook reminded Li that Apple gets iPhone components from all over the world, including China where most of the world’s iPhones are assembled.

“When you look at the parts that are done in China, we have reopened factories, so the factories were able to work through the conditions to open, they’re reopening,” Cook said. “They’re also in ramp. So I think of this as sort of the third phase in getting back to normal, and we’re in phase three of the ramp mode.”

The coronavirus, now named COVID-19, has claimed more 2,800 lives and infected nearly 83,000 others, mostly in China.

Apple relies heavily on the manufacturing and bountiful network of component suppliers in China. The virus initially shuttered factories and all 42 Apple Stores in China. But with each day comes word of more factories restoring workforce capacity. More than half of the stores are now open.