Chinese netizens highlight contrast between treatments of Apple CEO in Beijing and TikTok CEO in US

Apple CEO Tim Cook was met with rounds of cheers and applause when he showed up at an Apple store in Beijing on Friday, one day after TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew was grilled by US lawmakers for roughly five hours, prompting Chinese netizens to draw a stark contrast of the two countries’ business environments.

Also on Friday, Chinese Commerce Minister Wang Wentao met with Craig Allen, president of the US-China Business Council, vowing that China will provide a better environment and services for foreign firms and strive to create stable expectations for cooperation between Chinese and US companies.

That also stood in stark contrast to US politicians’ blatant threats and attempts to ban TikTok and force the sale of the app owned by Chinese firm ByteDance to a US firm. Such a contrast showed the Chinese government’s open attitude to foreign businesses as well as the US government’s hostile approach to them, experts noted.

On Friday afternoon, Cook, surrounded by aides, walked into the Apple store in Beijing’s Sanlitun, instantly drawing applause and cheers from employees and customers alike inside the store, according to video clips posted online. Cook smiled and shook hands with employees and customers.

“Wonderful to see our amazing customers and team at Apple Sanlitun. Thank you to Huang Ling for the tremendous performance. Good luck with your upcoming tour,” he posted on his account on Sina Weibo in both Chinese and English, along with a picture with the Chinese singer.

Cook’s appearance at the store became a trending topic on Weibo, with more than 91 million views as of 10 pm on Friday.

However, the buzz also prompted many Chinese netizens to draw a stark contrast between the warm welcome Cook received in China and the disrespect and disdain US lawmakers showed Chew, who is a Singaporean, at a hearing of the US Congress a day earlier.


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