The world’s most valuable company got more valuable this week, as Apple stock hit a record high.
There is no question Apple would not have been able to flourish in Trump’s trade war environment were it not for Tim Cook’s immersive approach to Chinese diplomacy. Risks are now growing for APPL as Senator Ted Cruz leads criticism over Cook’s decision to delete an app in Hong Kong, and backlash grows over the CEO’s new role as a chairman at Tsinghua University.
Many investors were worried how Apple’s stock would perform in the Trump era, given it’s exposure to China. Closing at a record $240.51 on Monday, things are looking rosy for APPL as the company has been on the receiving end of several analyst upgrades thanks to the success of its new iPhone 11. Behind the scenes CEO Tim Cook has been providing essential air support to his troops, as the Apple boss has ensured that he has kept the tech giant in Xi Jinping’s good books.
CNBC Mad Money host Jim Cramer has been singing Cook’s praises on his show, claiming that the CEO has been on the “front lines” of Trump’s trade war. For Cramer, this is a definite factor that has helped Apple’s stock flourish despite extremely testing times for global trade.
In addition to Cramer’s positive take on Apple’s current approach to China relations, another CNBC analyst was singing the incumbent CEO’s praises. Josh Brown, waxed lyrical about how much better off Apple is for having Tim Cook in charge amidst the trade war than if Steve Jobs was running things, stating,
“Could you picture, in a million years, Steve Jobs threading the needle in the way Time Cook has? Cook has to live with the reality that China is a lifeline for his business while simultaneously convincing ‘mad dog’ Trump that he is going to build things here. He’s done it incredibly well.”
Apple’s approach to keeping China happy has not pleased everyone. Cook’s decision to kowtow to Chinese pressure to delete a mapping in Hong Kong has faced criticism from supporters of protesters in the city-state. Senator Ted Cruz tweeted apparently contacted Apple to protest this decision.
In addition to this controversial move, the Apple boss is now facing a firestorm of criticism for taking a role at Tsinghua University as Chair of an advisory committee for its management school. While investors in APPL have cheered such decisions, some are not so sure. His support of China during the crackdown in Hong Kong is arguably violating the pro-immigrant progressive agenda that Cook has championed against the Trump administration.
Much like Elon Musk’s successful tariff dodge earlier in the year for Tesla, successful diplomacy is paying dividends for Apple stock. The question remains if APPL can keep pressing higher even if domestic backlash in the U.S. continues to grow.