Hong Kong - Apple is optimistic that some of its popular apps removed from its China App Store in 2017 to comply with government requests will be reinstated, says the U.S. technology giant's CE, Tim Cook.
Cook said that he strongly believes in freedom.
Cook has come to China several times this year, including an October visit where he was among executives that met with President Xi Jinping, who also had prepared remarks read at the conference on Sunday. "There are many small and medium-sized businesses in China who take advantage of Google to get their products to many other countries outside of China".
In its absence, Chinese firms like Tencent, Alibaba, Baidu and JD.com emerged most powerful players in China and overseas. The "messaging apps and virtual private network (VPN) services ... help [ed] users subvert China's Great Firewall".
Skype, the calling app, was removed from its mainland App Store this autumn.
Apple, Facebook find something to praise China for amid internet clamp WUZHEN, China: Top executives at Apple Inc and Facebook Inc managed to find something to praise Beijing for at an internet conference in China this week, even as its Communist Party rulers ban Western social media and stamp on online dissent.
The World Internet Conference in Wuzhen, near Shanghai, is an annual gathering of mainly Chinese internet officials and internet company executives as well as bureaucrats from developing countries.
Speaking at the Fortune Forum in the Chinese city of Guangzhou, Cook also said he believed strongly in freedoms, a comment seen by many as a response to a USA democratic senator's remarks on Tuesday that Apple had a moral obligation to promote free expression.
The tacit endorsement of the event by top USA tech executives comes as China introduces strict new rules on censorship and data storage, causing headaches for foreign tech firms permitted to do business in China and signalling that restrictions banning others are unlikely to be lifted any time soon.
The Chinese government uses the event to pursue its argument that its censorship and regulation of the internet does not harm the development of technology and business prosperity.
The Apple chief executive's presence indicates the importance of the Chinese market for the iPhone maker, even though Apple's market share of China's smartphone market is shrinking.
But China has maintained that its various forms of web censorship are necessary for protecting its national security.