According to a report from The Information (paywall), it turns out that Apple actually made a massive investment in the country. The report claims that Apple’s CEO Tim Cook himself actually brokered deals with local officials to the tune of $275 billion which helped to stave off regulatory action.
Apple has been hit with various regulatory actions over the years in the various countries it operates in. According to the report, “Apple’s iPhone recently became the top-selling smartphone in China, its second-biggest market after the U.S., for the first time in six years. But the company owes much of that success to CEO Tim Cook, who laid the foundation years ago by secretly signing an agreement, estimated to be worth more than $275 billion, with Chinese officials promising Apple would do its part to develop China’s economy and technological prowess through investments, business deals, and worker training.”
While the deal is said to last five years, it has apparently been extended by an additional year as per the contract, where it will automatically extend a year if there are no objections.