Apple CEO Tim Cook accepted a position on the board of directors of a Chinese business school less than two weeks after his company decided to ban an app used by protesters in Hong Kong.
Cook has been named president of Tsinghua University School of Economics and Business and will remain in office for three years, as noted by Apple Insider.
Although Cook, 58, has been a talented businessman and has headed Apple since 2011, the appointment comes at a time when the company's relationship with China is under intense scrutiny.
Why are people protesting in Hong Kong?
The university itself is considered very close to power in China as the alma mater of a group of Chinese Communist Party politicians, including President Xi Jinping, known as the Tsinghua clique.
Apple has been under scrutiny since it decided to ban an app popular with AppStore's Hong Kong protesters earlier this month, which was being used to help protesters prevent water cannon fire, identity checks and tear gas while maintaining weeks long. manifestations.
Following the ban, a joint letter was issued by a bipartisan group of US politicians, including Democratic Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Republican Senator Ted Cruz, criticizing Apple.
The letter asked the company to "demonstrate that Apple puts values above market access and supports the brave men and women fighting for basic rights and dignity in Hong Kong."
Apple's flagship product, the iPhone, is almost entirely made in China. The company's chief executive also asked President Trump to seek a truce with China during his trade war.
At the time, the company said it conducted an investigation into the app after "many concerned customers in Hong Kong" contacted them with complaints and found that it violated its rules.
Chinese President Xi Jinping graduated from Tsinghua University
Apple said: "The app displays police sites and we checked with the Hong Kong Cyber Security and Technology Crime Department that the app was used to attack and ambush police, threaten public safety, and criminals used it to victimize residents in areas where they know there is no law enforcement. "
"This app violates our local guidelines and laws and we removed it from the App Store."
A Twitter account believed to belong to the developers of HKmap.live said there was no evidence that Hong Kong police were being ambushed.
"Most user reviews on the App Store suggest that HKmap IMPROVES public safety, not the other way around," he said, adding that the app does not promote criminal activity.
An Apple spokesman was unable to respond immediately to Sky News's request for comment.