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Apple CEO Joins Chinese Business School As Board Member

Apple CEO Joins Chinese Business School As Board Member

Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) CEO Tim Cook has joined the Tsinghua University School of Economics and Management in Beijing as the chairman of its advisory board, the South China Morning Post reported Monday.

What Happened

Cook is taking over the role from American venture capitalist Jim Breyer of Breyer Capital and will remain in the position for three years.

The rest of the advisory board for this year hasn’t been named yet. In the past, it consisted of both global business leaders and some of China’s top political figures.

Facebook, Inc. (NASDAQ: FB) CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Tesla Inc (NASDAQ: TSLA) CEO Elon Musk, Alibaba Group Holtding Ltd - ADR (NYSE: BABA) founder Jack Ma, and SoftBank Group Corp -ADR (OTC: SFTBY) CEO Masayoshi Son have all served on the board in previous years.

Among Chinese leaders, Vice-Premier Liu He and central bank governor Yi Gang have also been members of the board.

Why It Matters

Being a member of the elite B-School’s advisory board reportedly grants privileged access to China’s top leaders. Xi Jinping has met with the board twice during his tenure as the country’s president, the South China Morning Post said. 

Apple has been facing rocky waters in the world’s second-largest consumer market ever since the recent U.S.-China trade war started. There have been increased calls to boycott Apple products in China in favor of home-grown businesses like Huawei.

Apple courted another controversy earlier this month when it removed Quartz news app in China over its Hong Kong coverage.

Photo courtesy of Apple. 


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