Tim Cook flexes his Shanghai trip on Chinese social media amid Apple's China crisis

Tim Cook smiling
Apple CEO Tim Cook.Nic Coury/AFP/Getty Images
  • Tim Cook is flexing his latest trip to Shanghai on Chinese social media.

  • The Apple boss is in the city to celebrate the opening of a new store.

  • Cook's visit comes as iPhone sales in China slide amid the popularity of Huawei's latest smartphone.

Tim Cook is back in China again. This time, he's chowing down steamed buns on Chinese social media.

The Apple CEO is in Shanghai ahead of the opening of a new Apple store this week — but is making sure he takes the time to share select highlights of his trip to his 1.6 million-plus "fans" on the Chinese app Weibo.

In a 22-second clip posted to his Weibo account on Wednesday, Cook said he'd been for a stroll along the Bund waterfront with Chinese actor Zheng Kai, before "enjoying a classic Shanghai breakfast."

He followed that up with several more posts. In one, Cook shared that he stopped by a studio of a local director who was "finishing production on a short film about girls following their dreams to be lion dancers."

In another post, Cook put the spotlight on Chinese games developer Papergames. There was also time to share a photo of himself from an Apple store with models Wang Shiqing and Ji Huanbo.

Though Cook is in Shanghai to open a new store, a city where Apple already has seven, the timing of his trip coincides with a tough moment for his company in China.

The inside of an Apple store in Shanghai.
iPhone sales have been falling in China this year.Getty Images

Apple has been battling falling iPhone sales in China in recent months amid growing competition from domestic smartphone makers and rising nationalist sentiment in Beijing.

In the first six weeks of this year, for instance, iPhone sales in China dropped 24%, per Counterpoint Research data. That slide is partly due to the huge popularity of local rival Huawei's latest smartphone, the Mate 60 Pro.

Given that the Greater China region contributed $20.8 billion of Apple's overall $119.6 billion in revenue in its latest quarter, it's clearly a market Cook won't want to lose ground in.

The Apple CEO's last trip to China came unannounced in October, just as signs were starting to emerge of a weakening market for iPhones. So promoting Apple products and engaging Chinese consumers directly is a key strategy.

Cook's post about the local director commented that "her crew used Apple products in every stage of the creative process, from storyboarding with iPad to shooting on iPhone 15 Pro Max, to editing with Macbook Pro."

His post about the developers at Papergames also noted that the graphics and performance of their games "show the power of Apple silicon chips in iPhone and iPad."

Cook knows what he has to do.

Read the original article on Business Insider