As MMi has reported throughout the week, Apple CEO Tim Cook has been in China since Monday on a prolonged venture that has proven fruitful in no shortage of ways. In addition to meeting with leading wireless carriers in the region and checking out Apple's retail presence first hand, Cook also set foot inside the walls of Foxconn - the sprawling and often controversial facility where millions of Apple's mobile products are produced.
Cook was photographed at the iPhone production line at a Foxconn plant in Zhengzhou, China. He even suited-up for the adventure, donning a yellow worker jumpsuit and walking in the footsteps of those who manufacture our beloved iDevices.
Of course, Cook wasn't at Foxconn merely for exploratory purposes. This was a PR event in almost every way imaginable. “Apple has had a string of negative publicity this year with Foxconn factory issues,” Mark Natkin, managing director of Marbridge Consulting Ltd., tells Bloomberg. “Apple is trying to demonstrate how seriously they take these issues, and how strong their commitment is to China.”
Apple, which contracts Foxconn to make its iPhones and iPads, became the first technology company to join the Fair Labor Association in January, opening up suppliers’ factories to inspections by the Washington-based group after complaints by human rights organizations. The group found “tons of issues,” while also seeing “dramatic” improvements, FLA Chief Executive Officer Auret van Heerden said last month.