There was a reason why Tim Cook bragged to Japan's PM about Apple's $100M investment in the country

There was a reason why Tim Cook bragged to Japan's PM about Apple's $100M investment in the country
According to Nikkei Asia, Apple CEO Tim Cook had a special request for Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida during his recent visit to Japan. Cook reportedly told Kishida to consider smartphone users before regulating the distribution of smartphone apps in the country. Cook supposedly told the Prime Minister not to diminish user privacy and security if Japan adopts new rules regarding app storefronts in Japan.

Certain countries are looking to pass legislation that would prevent Apple from forcing iOS app developers to use its in-app payment platform for subscriptions and in-app purchases. Apple takes a 15% to 30% cut of these transactions. Since iOS does not allow users to download apps from third-party app stores (which is known as sideloading), some lawmakers in multiple countries say that the App Store constitutes a monopoly.

Because of the EU's Digital Markets App, Apple is reportedly working on a way to allow iPhone users in Europe to sideload apps. But Apple sees sideloading as a way to introduce infected, malware-laden apps into the iPhone which could result in the theft of users' personal data and login information. Allowing Apple to keep firm control over the App Store is the safest thing for iPhone users according to Apple.

Looking to curry favor with the Japanese prime minister during his visit with him in Tokyo on December 15th, and hoping to head off legislation against Apple's "walled garden" control of the App Store in Japan, Cook pointed out that Apple invested $100 million in its Japanese supply chain over the last five years. Cook told the press after the meeting that he thought the prime minister was satisfied with the amount of Apple's investment in Japan.

While not related to Cook's meeting with the prime minister, Apple's Japanese unit is being charged $98 million to cover back taxes that should have been collected by Apple for the bulk purchases of iPhone units by foreign buyers from Japanese Apple Stores. One transaction alone involved the purchase of hundreds of units at one time. Tourists staying less than six months in Japan are allowed to buy items without having to pay the 10% consumption tax. However, the exemption is disallowed if the items are being purchased for resale. Apple Japan amended its tax return.

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