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Apple CEO Tim Cook Visits China Manufacturing Plant

(Apple CEO Tim Cook visited China this week, speaking with dignitaries and even visiting a Foxconn manufacturing plant. A customer walks under an Apple logo sign at an Apple shop in Shanghai on February 22, 2012.)

Photo by PETER PARKS/AFP/Getty Images

After months of questioning Apple’s deals with Chinese manufacturing company Foxconn and the treatment of workers at plants that make gadgets like the iPhone and iPad, the tech giant’s head has visited the plant in question.

Photos provided by Apple this week show Tim Cook smiling and visiting with some of the reported 120,000 workers employed by Foxconn’s large plant. An investigation into manufacturing there by the New York Times has suggested low standards for treatment of workers and safety concerns. Cook also met with political leaders in Beijing.

Apple may be going on the PR offensive now that one of the biggest negative stories about conditions at the plant was infamously retracted by Public Radio’s This American Life, after much of contributor Mike Daisy’s reporting was found to be fabricated. But there isn’t much story to the visit beyond a few pre-approved photos. The only great power that controls its media as tightly as China is, apparently, Apple.