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Apple confirms Tim Cook, Modi meeting

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Tim_Cook_2009_croppedBy NewsGram Staff Writer

Apple CEO Tim Cook is due to meet with Indian prime minister Narendra Modi later this month during the latter’s tour of the US west coast, an Apple spokesperson confirmed on Wednesday, according to this AppleInsider report.

According to India’s Economic Times, the spokesperson declined to say what the topic of discussion would be. Three sources for the newspaper indicated that the prime minister’s Office is yet to set an agenda after discussion with Apple.

It is believed that Apple is interested to invest in building manufacturing capacities in India, which could prove to be a huge boost for Modi’s initiatives such as ‘Make in India’ and ‘Digital India’. While India’s manufacturing sector has a long way to go, for Modi’s US visit, the main focus is on the entrepreneurship and digital innovation sectors, which are taking India to new heights.

Apple is dependent entirely on third-party resellers in the region and doesn’t even have a local online store. The company is working towards a brisk expansion of its reseller network, with special emphasis on improving iPhone sales, according to the AppleInsider report. Although iPhone numbers rose 93 percent in India during the June quarter, Apple has had difficulty making headway against Android-based phone makers. This is partly because phones are often sold in small independent shops that don’t fit with the company’s normal chain-oriented retail strategy.

Apple differentiates between refurbished and second-hand products in this Times of India article, saying that Apple products have a much longer life than Samsung or other similar products, if properly refurbished. Apple believes its refurbished products such as phones, computers, tablets and laptops have a big market in Asia. Under India’s current industrial policy refurbishing is not allowed. However, there might be a change in policy with Apple’s arrival.

Apple uses manufacturing facilities of Foxconn, which has recently promised to invest $5 billion in a manufacturing facility in Maharashtra. A local Apple-run R&D center might send more critical projects towards India’s direction instead of the backend software development that is usually pushed towards Indian firms like Infosys and Tata Consultancy Services.

Some of the other big names that Modi is scheduled to meet are Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Google CEO Sundar Pichai, and Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen.

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Out of Total Tax Fine of $15 billion, Apple Pays $1.77 billion to Irish Government

In August 2016, the European Commission said that Apple benefited from illegal tax benefits in Ireland from 2003 to 2014.

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Apple pays $1.77 billion of total $ 15 billion fine. Pixabay

Apple has paid $1.77 billion of total $15 billion to the Irish government as it begins to collect tax and interest into an escrow account set up to hold the sum.

“This is the first of a series of payments with the expectation that the remaining tranches will flow into the fund during the second and third quarter of 2018 as previously outlined,” the Irirsh Times quoted Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe as saying after the first transfer.

In August 2016, the European Commission said that Apple benefited from illegal tax benefits in Ireland from 2003 to 2014.

Meanwhile, Apple and Ireland are still pursuing appeals against a 2016 European Commission’s decision saying the iPhone maker’s tax treatment was in line with Irish and European Union law.

Apple pays fine
Apple pays fine to Ireland Government. Wikimedia commons

In 2016, the EU ordered the iPhone maker to pay almost $15 billion in back taxes to Ireland as it believed Ireland had not been collecting enough taxes and instead had been giving companies like Apple too big of a break on its already low 12.5 per cent tax rate.

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Apple has reportedly moved its cash to the small island of Jersey off the south coast of England to avoid further Irish taxation, CNET said in a report.

The Irish government expects that all of the money would be transferred by the end of September. (IANS)

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