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Apple’s CEO talks security with China

Apple chief executive Tim cook recently sat for talks with a Chinese official to discuss online security.

"Very open" talks after allegations Chinese government hacked iCloud
The Apple executive described the talks as "very open," reported China's state-run Xinhua news agency, according to CNet. The news comes just days after Greatfire, a popular web monitoring site, reported that Apple's iCloud service was breached by hackers with ties to the Chinese government. Apple also recently warned the public about cyber attacks targeting its cloud storage. Apple posted a security warning on Tuesday. The Chinese government has denied allegations that it was involved.

"Apple is deeply committed to protecting our customers' privacy and security. We're aware of intermittent organized network attacks using insecure certificates to obtain user information, and we take this very seriously. These attacks don't compromise iCloud servers, and they don't impact iCloud sign in on iOS devices or Macs running OS X Yosemite using the Safari browser", said Apple, according to CNet.

In response to the Great Fire attack, Apple commented that it was aware of organized network attacks, but did not give further comment.

Apple Pay is the priority for the company in China
In the interview, Cook said that a priority for Apple was to introduce the newly launched Apple Pay mobile payments service to the country. He added that he was still working on understanding all the necessary steps in doing so, reported Reuters.

China is the largest market for smartphones in the world and Apple intends on selling record numbers of its iPhone 6 and 6 Plus there. Cook said that Apple Pay is the number one priority, however.

"China is a really key market for us … Everything we do, we are going to work it here. Apple Pay is on the top of the list," Cook said to Xinhua, reported the news source.

Last month Chinese media reported that Apple would sign a deal with Union Pay, a card network in China, in order to launch Apple Pay. While Cook did not comment on this, during his four-day trip to China, he attended a meeting of the advisory board of Tsinghua University school of economics and management and also toured factory supplier Hon Hai Precision Industries.

The security of Apple's iCloud service has been under scrutiny ever since celebrity accounts were hacked, and photos illegally distributed, almost two months ago. Concerns that the company had not done enough to address security gaps, as well as reports on hacker software that helped perpetrate the attack, led Apple to add two-factor authentication to its security measures. In a country where censorship and privacy are greatly lacking, it is interesting to see how Apple will address issues of security and privacy in the future. As evidenced by Cook's recent trip however, sales will be more important than lengthy discussions about alleged government ties to hackers.

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