Aaron Sorkin Apologizes to Tim Cook Following Apple CEO’s ‘Steve Jobs …

26 Sep 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Aaron (‘Steve Jobs’) Sorkin takes a swipe at Apple’s Tim Cook.

Tim Cook probably should have screened this season’s two Steve Jobs movies—Alex Gibney’s little documentary and Aaron Sorkin’s big-budget work of fiction—before dismissing them out of hand on national television. “I haven’t seen them, but the Steve I knew was an amazing human being,” Cook told Stephen Colbert last week. “I think that a lot of people are trying to be opportunistic, and I hate this; it’s not a great part of our world.” “If you’ve got a factory full of children in China assembling phones for 17 cents an hour, you’ve got a lot of nerve calling someone else opportunistic.” Cook may have painted with too broad a brush, but the screenwriter’s response sounds like something one his characters would say.

Chinese president Xi Jinping is touring the US for the first time this week, meeting with officials from the government but also, just as importantly, with leaders of the tech industry. The group photo above is proof of the importance of Xi’s visit, with some of the most powerful men in tech from China and the US (and yes, it’s mostly men, unfortunately) assembled for high-level talks with the Chinese president. Google is still blocked in China after refusing to censor its search results in 2010, although it should be noted that Facebook is banned too and yet Zuckerberg is present.

The representatives from the Chinese firms in attendance (which have a combined market cap of $1 trillion) include Alibaba’s CEO Jack Ma, Lenovo’s CEO Yang Yuanqing, the head of Baidu, Robin Li, and Ma Huateng, the CEO of Tencent. The meeting is being billed as simply the eighth US-China Internet Industry Forum, but it’s thought that politics, as much as business, will be under discussion.

Whether or not US companies can do business in China is also likely to be a topic of conversation, with Apple used as an example of how a US firm can succeed in the Chinese market. “The companies who are all there are going to be able to hear from Tim Cook,” Alec Ross, a former technology adviser to Hillary Clinton told the WSJ. “Xi will turn to Tim Cook and say ‘We are so pleased you are doing business in our country.’ And what Apple represents is that American companies can enter the consumer market in China and win.”

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