Apple CEO Tim Cook signed secret deal with China to ease regulatory pressure

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Apple CEO Tim Cook signed secret deal with China to ease regulatory pressure

According to a report Tuesday, Apple CEO Tim Cook signed a secret five-year deal with China worth $275 billion in 2016 as the tech giant tried to relieve regulatory pressure in the key market.

The agreement included a commitment from Apple to help boost China's economy through investments and other business initiatives, according to The Information, citing interviews and internal documents. At the time, officials in Beijing purportedly felt that Apple was not doing enough to aid the country's economic development.

The deal was completed as Apple faced a regulatory crackdown that could have harmed its business in China, including key services such as Apple Pay and iCloud. Cook was personally involved in negotiations and made several trips to China to lobby government officials on Apple's behalf.

Apple received legal exemptions from regulatory action. In exchange, Apple agreed to invest in worker training, commitments to help Chinese manufacturers develop the most advanced manufacturing technologies and use Chinese-made components, and other concessions meant to appease local authorities.

In the last few years, China has become a key growth market for Apple. In the fourth quarter, the company's sales in the greater China region increased by 83%, according to the company s sales in the greater China region.