Apple CEO Tim Cook is a tough interview to snag, but this Chinese college senior did it


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Tim Cook

  • Apple CEO Tim Cook participated in a video interview with a Chinese college student who’s also a tech influencer in the country.
  • The conversation touched on everything from Cook’s thoughts on innovation and new products like the iPhone 12 series to the importance of China and Chinese consumers to Apple.
  • Cook mentioned how features like Night Mode were influenced by Chinese consumers.

Fresh on the heels of Apple reporting its highest-ever revenue in China during the December quarter, and with Huawei continuing to suffer the residual effects of the Trump-led ban on its products, Apple CEO Tim Cook sat down with a Chinese college student for an interview. One that was less a series of probing queries and more a bit of a chat between Cook and 22-year-old Chinese university student He Shijie.

The conversation ranged from the iPhone app that Cook uses the most (besides email, the Notes app), to Cook’s high-level thoughts about Apple at the moment (2020 was Apple’s “top year of innovation ever”). Cook’s questioner was clearly an Apple fan and didn’t try to hide how much he loves the iPhone maker’s products, but he still was able to garner some interesting insights from the CEO, including some details about the influence that Chinese consumers have on the company’s products.

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For example, when Cook was asked to name any features developed based on feedback from Chinese consumers, he responded:

“Oh, there’s a ton of features there that are. You know, whether it’s specific keyboards, whether it’s QR code mode … 5G, in a lot of ways, was energized in China, because China is so far ahead in the coverage model for 5G. Junction View in Maps, because of the complex intersections and so forth. Night Mode was another one where the inspiration for Night Mode came from China. Yeah, we get a lot of feedback from China.”

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You can watch the entire interview here, which has subtitles in both English and Chinese.

As far as Cook’s…