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Apple CEO Cook, on a flying trip to China, stops by Apple assembly line

Apple CEO Tim Cook is in China, visiting the factories of his biggest supplier, Foxconn - a trip Apple’s late co-founder Steve Jobs never made. That's shock No .1

The undercover boss...Apple's Cook in China

Shock No 2: This morning, Apple’s PR team —"known the world over for keeping the company’s secrets more than for engaging with the media," says the Wall Street Journal — distributed a photo of Mr. Cook at the iPhone production line.

The picture at the new Hon Hai Precision Industry plant in Zhengzhou, where 120,000 are employed, shows Mr. Cook wearing a yellow factory coat and matching cap, smiling as he watched workers on the assembly line.

In the past, Steve Jobs said little publicly about China and Hon Hai, which assembles iPads and iPhones. Just once at a conference hosted by All Things Digital, he discussed a spate of suicides at Hon Hai factories that he said were “troubling.”

Cook’s public appearances around the country have been well received . He also met high-level government officials, including Vice Premier Li Keqiang and officials from the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology and the Ministry of Commerce. The visit might even help resolve Apple's little local difficulties over the iPad trademark.

Expect more focus on China from Apple HQ in California , and deeper ties with the Chinese government.

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