China surrenders to pressure from Apple

China’s Vice Premier Li Keqiang has given in to demands from Apple that the country increase IP protection.

If Reuters is correct, Apple Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook appears to have given Keqiang a Chinese burn until he finally agreed to do what ever Apple said. If only other world leaders took the same approach, China would be less of a problem on the world stage.

Cook has been locked in talks with Keqiang and has been demanding that he step in and sort out that little trademark problem Apple is having.

Apple iPads were banned from the shelves when it turned out that another company had trademarked the name before Steve Jobs thought of it. Apparently the Chinese use of a trademark which should have fallen to Apple the moment Jobs thought of it was on the agenda. Cook felt  that China should stand up against IP theft, but only when it is wealthy American IP.

Apple is also in hot water because of the way that its affiliates treat staff.

What was a little surprising was how Keqiang seemed to retreat on previous tough stances from the Communist authorities after his meeting with Cook. He said that it was a condition for China to transform its economic development, expand domestic demands and conduct technological innovation.

Keqiang is tipped to be China’s next premier in a leadership move  that begins later this year. It appears that his remit is to call for multinational companies to “pay more attention to caring for workers” in China.

Cook promised that Apple will conduct business in a law-abiding and honest manner, so major reforms promised there too.