Apple's Tim Cook met with Lu Wei, China's Cyberspace Administration head as part of the latter's recent visit to the Cupertino-based company. During the visit, Lu talked to Cook on issues about national security and users' privacy.
Lu was able to get a hands-on with the Apple Watch when he had a private meeting with Cook. At the meeting, Apple also talked about the company's push to bring its products to China. Apple had stated several times before that China is an important market for the company.
While China is an open market, Lu stressed that all tech products entering the country should protect users' privacy and keep the country's national security safe. Moreover, any technology-focused products that are brought into the market should be able to pass a cybersecurity assessment by China.
Cook, on his part, promised that the company would never divulge its customers' information to anyone coming from a third-party. He also promised that Apple products will not have backdoors.
"Cook was grateful in this regard," said in a report. It added that Apple was willing to accept the cyber security assessment of the Chinese government.
China is one of those countries that stress the importance of cybersecurity. The concern must be driven by the revelations made by whistleblower Edward Snowden. Snowden leaked that the U.S. had been surreptitiously spying on companies based in China.
Part of China's move to make sure that all the products entering China's market promote security and privacy is establishing a cybersecurity vetting system. Through this, the nation could successfully filter and remove those IT products which could pose problems. Products which didn't pass the security system would be blocked from the market.
It's not clear yet on how the nation's vetting system should work. The Chinese government has been subjecting the products of Apple into a strong scrutiny in search of security flaws.
Perhaps the first Apple products that have been placed under the strictest scrutiny are the latest iPhone 6 models. Prior to the sale of the devices in the country, a Chinese regulator had demanded Apple to fix the iOS software which was suspected of being used by the company to collect information of its users.
Apple complied and made the necessary changes. It also promised not to create backdoors in the software.
"At Apple, your trust means everything to us," said Cook. "That's why we respect your privacy and protect it with strong encryption."