Apple CEO Tim Cook has been appointed chairman of the advisory board for Tsinghua University’s economics school in Beijing, according to the South China Morning Post and a Chinese-language meeting summary noted by Apple Insider.
Cook will apparently assume the role for a three year term, and recently served as chairman for a meeting, the South China Morning Post reports.
As the Post reports, Chinese government officials have served on the board. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has also served on the board in the past, the newspaper notes.
Still, the news comes at a time of widespread unrest in Hong Kong, as hundreds of thousands of protesters have taken to the streets to demand political rights and police accountability.
Tim Cook, chief executive officer of Apple Inc., is seen above. (Bloomberg via Getty Images)
Apple faced a bipartisan uproar recently when it took down a crowdsourced map of Hong Kong police presense from the App Store — that had been used by pro-democracy protesters — after the company was criticized in Chinese state media.
On Friday, a group of lawmakers that included Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., and Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Tex., sent a letter to Cook to express their “strong concern” about Apple’s “censorship of apps.”
“We urge you in the strongest terms to reverse course,” the lawmakers wrote in the letter, “to demonstrate that Apple puts values above market access, and to stand with the brave men and women fighting for basic rights and dignity in Hong Kong.”
Protesters set fire to a Xiaomi shop at Nathan road in Hong Kong, Sunday, Oct. 20, 2019. Hong Kong protesters again flooded streets on Sunday, ignoring a police ban on the rally and setting up barricades amid tear gas and firebombs. (AP Photo/Vincent Yu)
Cook, who reportedly met with Chinese regulators late last week, defended pulling the app in a letter to employees, writing: “Over the past several days we received credible information, from the Hong Kong Cybersecurity and Technology Crime Bureau, as well as from users in Hong Kong, that the app was being used maliciously to target individual officers for violence and to victimize individuals and property where no police are present.”
Fox News’ Chris Ciaccia contributed to this report.