Tim Cook agreed to allow Chinese government to conduct security audits on Apple devices – local media

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Beijing News reports that Tim Cook has agreed to allow China’s State Internet Information Office to carry out security audits of Apple products sold in the country. Cook reportedly made the offer during his meeting with China’s Cyberspace Administration minister Lu Wei in December.

China has long expressed suspicion over the security of Apple products, seemingly resulting from frosty relations with the U.S. Government. A state-run TV station in China described the iPhone as a “national security concern” last July due to its location-tracking capabilities. Apple responded by pointing out that location data is stored on the phone, not on Apple’s servers, and is encrypted …  Read more

Apple teases soon-to-open Apple Store in Hangzhou, China, with stunning mural

Update: Apple has posted a version of the video with English subtitles on YouTube (embedded above).

Apple is certainly not thinking small when it comes to China, with 25 new retail stores promised within a two-year period, and its latest soon-to-open store in Hangzhou features a massive mural covering the entire front of the store. The store is due to open on Saturday, January 24th, the second of five new stores Angela Ahrendts said would be opening by the Chinese New Year on February 19th.

Featuring a poem written around 2000 years ago celebrating the importance of the city—a provincial capital—the stunning calligraphy was hand-painted by Wang Dongling, a famous modern calligrapher. Apple has released a video of its creation …  Read more

Apple planning 5 new Chinese retail store openings by Feb, hiring for 15 new locations

Angela Ahrendts

Apple is committed to its promise of expanding its retail presence in China from 15 to 40 stores within two years. Apple retail chief Angela Ahrendts told Chinese website Xinhua on Thursday that the iPhone maker is gearing up to open five new stores in roughly five weeks.

“We are opening five new stores before the Chinese New Year this year. Four of the stores are in brand new cities for us,” said Ahrendts in a telephone interview with Xinhua. The new locations will be opened in time for China‘s Spring Festival, a popular shopping season that commemorates the Chinese New Year, on February 19. Read more

Apple creating a smaller version of iconic Shanghai store as promised Chinese retail expansion continues

Pudong, Shanghai, store left;

Pudong, Shanghai, store left; latest Chongqing store right

Apple is creating in Chongqing, China, what appears to be a smaller version of its iconic glass cylinder Apple Store in Shanghai. ifo Apple Store shared a series of photos as the wraps came off what is set to be Apple’s third retail store in the Chongqing region, which has a total population of more than 28 million people.

Workers dismantled the huge steel structure that has been covering the entrance for nearly the past year, revealing a 30-foot tall glass structure that will lead to the underground store. The entrance is set in a plaza and surrounded by tall buildings, a setting similar to the [Shanghai] store, but on a smaller scale.

The first Apple Store in Chongqing opened in July of last year, and a second one is under construction. More photos of the latest store can be seen below …  Read more

Watch the full BBC documentary on iPhone factory working conditions while you can

A screengrab from the documentary showing workers sleeping on the production-line

A screengrab from the documentary showing workers sleeping on the production-line

The full BBC documentary on working conditions in iPhone factories has been unofficially uploaded to YouTube. It probably won’t be too long before it gets pulled, so if you want to see it, watch it while you can – we’ve embedded the full video below …  Read more

Tim Cook “deeply offended” by BBC allegations of poor working conditions in iPhone factories

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In a letter to UK staff, Tim Cook is said to have been “deeply offended” by allegations made in a BBC undercover documentary that Apple had broken promises over the working conditions in Pegatron’s iPhone factories in China, reports the Telegraph.

In an email to around 5,000 staff across the UK, Apple senior vice president of operations Jeff Williams said both himself and the chief executive were “deeply offended by the suggestion that Apple would break a promise to the workers in our supply chain or mislead our customers in any way”.

“Panorama’s report implied that Apple isn’t improving working conditions,” he continued. “Let me tell you, nothing could be further from the truth.”

Williams said that Apple had provided both “facts and perspective” on the allegations, but the BBC had chosen not to include these in the program …  Read more

Tim Cook demoed Apple Watch for Chinese officials on recent US visit

Tim-Cook-china-meeting-02Tim Cook shows China’s top internet regulator Lu Wei the Apple Watch

Apple CEO Tim Cook alongside Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, Amazon’s Jeff Bezos and other tech executives recently met with China’s Cyberspace Administration ministerLu Wei while the government official was in the US, according to a report from China’s government-run china.com.cn (via Bloomberg). Read more

Apple planning to support 500 Apple resellers in India, focusing on iOS devices – report

An Apple Premium Reseller store in India

An Apple Premium Reseller store in India

Times of India has put numbers on its earlier claim that Apple was planning to open a collection of iOS-centric stores in India. It now says that Apple plans to support 500 new resellers in the country as part of a major expansion program into smaller towns and cities, where Samsung currently dominates.

Apple reportedly sold a million iPhones in India in the 12 months to September 2014, helped in part by a cheaper 8GB version of the iPhone 5c, and is said to expect sales to treble in the following 12 months following the rollout of the iPhone 6 in October …  Read more

Chinese smartphone maker claims Apple copied iPhone 6 design

Digione-iPhone-01

Chinese smartphone maker Digione is claiming Apple’s iPhone 6 and 6 Plus copy the design of its own smartphone line.

Macworld reports that the company published a letter online yesterday that was originally sent to Apple back in September in order to make them aware that the latest iPhones might infringe on a patent it was granted in July by China’s State Intellectual Property Office. Read more

Apple will soon let third-party products use its Lightning port, opening up new possibilities for accessories

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Last week at Apple’s yearly briefing for accessory makers in its Made-for-iPhone/iPad (MFi) licensing program, the company unveiled new Lightning connectors and specs for Lightning receptacles that will soon be available for implementation in MFi accessories. The new Lightning receptacle, scheduled to start shipping next year, will allow accessory makers to build new types of accessories that include a port for Apple’s proprietary Lightning connector previously reserved for its own iOS devices (pictured above). Read more

China UnionPay debit and credit cards now accepted as payment method for Apple’s Chinese App Store

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China UnionPay is the largest bank card provider in the region, but the App Store has not supported the payment method up to now. Apple has announced that this inconvenience has now been resolved with customers in China now able to link their Apple ID with debit or credit cards from UnionPay.

The addition should help expand the reach of the App Store to even more customers, allowing Apple to bolster its number credit cards on file ahead of an Apple Pay launch in the country. Code references have already been found that show the iPhone 6 NFC element is ready to support China UnionPay purchases.

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