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Apple CEO Cook Meets Chinese Regulator After Removing Hong Kong App

Apple CEO Tim Cook met the head of China’s market regulator in Beijing on Thursday, the Chinese agency stated a week after the U.S. government was pushed into the midst of political spats between the mainland and protesters in Hong Kong.

Apple last week removed from its app store an app that helped Hong Kong protesters monitor police actions after a Chinese state newspaper sharply criticized it for permitting the software. The company stated the app, HKmap.live, was used to target the police.

Cook had defended the removal in the face of criticism for soothing mainland China, telling Apple staff that “this decision protects our users”.

China’s State Administration for Market Regulation said in a press release on its website that its leader, Xiao Yaqing, and Cook discussed matters including Apple expanding funding in China, consumer rights safety and fulfilling corporate social responsibility (CSR).

China is a crucial market for Apple. The company’s smartphone market share plunged to 5.8% in the June quarter from 6.4% in the same interval a year earlier, based on research firm Canalys, as China’s homegrown Huawei Technologies turned into the dominant smartphone seller.

The meeting comes days before China holds the World Internet Conference in Wuzhen in China’s eastern Zhejiang region. The event previously has attracted overseas firm executives, foreign diplomats, and Chinese government executives.

It was not instantly clear if Cook will take part in the conference this year.

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