Apple CEO Tim Cook is in China this week to promote the company’s latest environmental efforts. In an interview with state-owned Xinhua News Agency, he commented on future plans for the country, along with Cupertino’s new partnership with the World Wildlife Fund.
Earlier this week, Apple officially become the top smartphone seller in China just as new reports suggested mobile growth in the country could be slowing down. Still, Cook expects to sell even more iPhones moving forward. “I think China is a market where everyone will own a smartphone,” he told Xinhua.
Apple plans to operate 40 physical stores in China by 2016. That’s up from the 22 locations it currently boasts in the country. “Forty is a good objective for us for mid next year,” Cook said, “That is not where we want to end. We’ll keep adding from there.”
He also confirmed that plans to launch Apple Pay in China are still in the works. The company is still in talks with local banks along with Alibaba, which operates its own mobile payment service. Despite increasing competition in the region, Cook says he “very bullish on Apple Pay in China.”
As for Apple’s environmental efforts, Cook sees China as a prime example of how it can make a real difference. “This area is one where we can make a significant contribution,” he said. The company previously explained it hopes to work with its supply chain, which is largely based in China, as part of the new endeavor.
Clearly Apple has its work cut out for it in China. These efforts have already paid off handsomely for Cupertino though, and if Cook is right then the company is still just getting started.