Apple CEO Tim Cook Visits Foxconn Plant

Chinese media say Cook visited controversial factory amid concern over working conditions

Apple CEO Tim Cook has reportedly visited a Foxconn plant in China that builds many of the company’s most popular products.

The Cupertino-based company has received criticism for its use of Foxconn factories, in which conditions have been described as tantamount to slave labour.

Cook’s tour

Cook is making his first trip to China since he replaced Steve Jobs as Chief Executive in August last year in an effort to increase its presence in the country and address a number of concerns, including conditions at Foxconn plants.

It was unclear if he would pay a visit to any Foxconn factory, but according to Chinese media, he went to the new Foxconn Zhengzhou Technology Park, which employees more than 120,000 people. However it is not known how long he spent at the facility or who he spoke to while he was there.

Apple had denied that the living and working conditions of those employed in the factories were like those of slaves, despite a number of employee suicides and an explosion which killed three workers at a plant which manufactured the iPad 2 last year.

The company eventually relented to pressure and invited the Fair Labour Association (FLA) to conduct voluntary audits at Foxconn’s facilities in Shenzen and Chengdu in February. Foxconn also promised to raise employee wages by as much as 25 percent as the inspections continued.

While in China, Cook will also want to clear up a trademark dispute with Proview Technology over the use of the term ‘iPad’ in the country. The issue has threatened to derail the launch of the latest version of the tablet, which was unveiled earlier this month.

And finally, Cook’s visit to China coincides with one by Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg. The visits are presumably coincidence, although Zuckerberg was seen visiting an Apple Store, and the two men are rumoured to have shared a flight in an executive jet.

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