Tim Cook’s Shanghai Jaunt Celebrates New Jing’an Apple Store, Local Creators

Apple CEO Tim Cook is back in China for a whirlwind tour of Shanghai to mark the grand opening of the company’s eighth retail location in the city – the lavish Apple Jing’an store.

Cook touched down in the coastal metropolis earlier this week, taking time to experience some quintessential Shanghai sights and culture. “Nonghao Shanghai!” he exclaimed on Weibo, revealing he spent the “morning walking the Bund with Zheng Kai and enjoying a classic Shanghai breakfast.”

For the unfamiliar, Zheng Kai is a hugely popular Chinese actor whose accompaniment was likely orchestrated to drum up a celebrity buzz around Apple’s glitzy new retail footprint.

Inside the Stunning New Apple Jing’an

When Apple Jing’an officially opens its doors at 7pm local time on March 21st, it will be Apple’s highest-spec flagship in all of China.

The striking new store, located across from the iconic Jing’an Temple, features a unique design inspired by Shanghai’s beloved white magnolia flower. With its wood-lined interior and curved glazing blurring the boundaries between indoors and out, it’s a refined new temple of cubic aluminum and glass for Apple’s fervent Shanghai fans.

Courting China’s Creative Visionaries

But Cook’s Shanghai expedition wasn’t purely retail theater and pedestrian tourism. The Apple chief also made time to visit the studio of director Mo Lyu, who’s currently in production on a short film titled “Eye Dotting” about young women pursuing ambitions of lion dancing.

Tim Cook's Shanghai Jaunt Celebrates New Apple Store, Local Creators

According to Cook’s Weibo postings, he was duly impressed by how Lyu and her crew leveraged Apple’s product lineup “in every stage of the creative process” from storyboarding on iPads to shooting on iPhone 15 Pro Max cameras to editing on MacBook Pros.

The ViP access hints at Apple’s continued cultivation of China’s flourishing filmmaking community as a core part of its branding strategy in the region. Just as Apple Jing’an serves as a new luxury retail anchor, currying favor with the country’s creators cements Apple’s innovative credentials on the media and arts front.

For Cook, shaking hands with stars and shining a spotlight on local talent are all part of Apple’s delicate soft power dance to stay in Beijing’s good graces. His Shanghai tour was just the latest dazzling footwork.

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Max Hyland
Max Hyland
Long form contributor Apple iPhone, iPad, watch reviews, opinion, editorial

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