updated 11:00 am EDT, Tue October 22, 2013
Deepens ties with China
Apple CEO Tim Cook has joined the advisory board of Tsinghua University's School of Economics and Management, according to the university's website. A mission statement indicates that the board holds annual meetings to "offer advice on the development of Tsinghua's SEM." Other high-profile members of the board include Foxconn CEO Terry Gou, Nokia chairman Risto Siilasmaa, Walmart CEO Michael Duke, and PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi.
Why Cook is joining the board is unmentioned, but he and Apple already have close ties to China. Most of the company's suppliers are located there, and Cook has visited several times as both COO and CEO. Sometimes this has been to talk with suppliers, but he has also been involved in negotiating iPhone deals with carriers like China Mobile. Mobile has yet to start selling the iPhone, but should start in the near future.
Apple also considers China its most important market outside the US, since it's relatively fledgling yet with hundreds of millions of potential customers. The iPhone 5s and 5c were the first iPhones to launch simultaneously in both China and the US.