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Apple's Tim Cook Signed Secret $275 Billion Deal With China: Report

Apple CEO Tim Cook reportedly "personally lobbied officials" for concessions that would allow the company to do business in China.

Apple ( (AAPL) - Get Apple Inc. Report) CEO Tim Cook signed a deal worth more than $275 billion with the Chinese government in 2016 during a string of visits to the country, investigative tech publication The Information reports

In an effort to improve Apple's reception in China, Cook reportedly "personally lobbied officials" for concessions that would allow Apple to do business in the country in exchange for over $275 billion invested into its economy over a period of five years.

Citing a number of internal documents and interviews, The Information found that Cook's move came after China banned iTunes in the country and was threatening to do the same with features like Apple Pay, iCloud and the App Store.

The agreement was cemented in a 1,250-word "memorandum of understanding" between Apple and Chinese government branch National Development and Reform Commission. 

Parts of the agreement included putting $1 billion toward Didi Chiuxing, a Chinese ride-sharing startup similar to Uber ( (UBER) - Get Uber Technologies, Inc. Report) and expanding employee training in China. 

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It also included putting funds toward Chinese universities, tech companies, renewable energy startups and retail outlets.

The agreement came at a time when China was increasingly starting to face criticism for its repression of any governmental opposition and treatment of ethnic minority groups like the Uyghur Muslims. 

American platforms like Facebook (META), Google ( (GOOGL) - Get Alphabet Inc. Class A Report) and Twitter ( (TWTR) - Get Twitter, Inc. Report) have been officially blocked in China for years and Apple reportedly risked going down the same path for its products. 

Instead, Chinese sales made up 17% of Apple's global revenue in 2020.

Apple did not immediately respond to TheStreet's request for comment on the situation. At close on Tuesday,  (AAPL) - Get Apple Inc. Report stock was up 3.54% to $171.18.