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Tim Cook & Mark Zuckerberg Both Visit China To Improve Relations

Apple CEO, Tim Cook, visited China this week to meet with future Chinese Premier Li Keqiang to discuss “intellectual property-issues and great cooperation” as well the thorny issue of working conditions at Foxconn.

It was the first time Tim Cook has visited Beijing as CEO of Apple and the low-key visit is seen as a positive move for the company to have stronger ties with an emerging market like China.

Apple’s success in China has been impressive, we’ve had everything from mini riots to Beatles-like hysteria when new Apple products get released.

Since opening its first store in Sanlitun in 2008, Apple now has two stores in Beijing, three in Shanghai and one in Hong Kong – with plenty more in the pipeline.

But, there have been setbacks as well – Apple is suffering from widespread intellectual property theft, with a massive black market for cheaper fake Apple products.

The Cupertino company has also had legal problems with the country. China seized iPad units last month after Chinese company Proview Technology filed a trademark infringement complaint.

Top of the agenda for discussion will have been recent poor press about working conditions at their manufacturing partner, Foxconn.

Time Cook isn’t the only US CEO in China this week: Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg was spotted on holiday in Shanghai. The news obviously cause quite a stir online as speculation spread like wildfire of the possibility of Facebook returning to China, even though the site remains firmly blocked.

The Facebook founder and his girlfriend were spotted at an Apple store and in Shanghai’s art gallery district on Tuesday.

Last month the world’s largest social network said: “We will continued to evaluate entering China”  when it filed paperwork seeking to raise $5 billion on US stock exchange. Analysts say Facebook’s chances of re-entering the market are “slim”.

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