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Why Tech CEOs Are Going Selfie-Mad in China

Bosses wanting to crack the Chinese market better not be camera shy.

Some of the world’s most powerful business people, from Apple’s Tim Cook to Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, have very conspicuously started popping up in photographs shot in the booming Asian economy.

China represents a massive growth opportunity for companies such as Apple, and Cook has visited the country no less than nine times, according to local media.

But what’s with all the happy snaps? This Quartz report explains that CEOs may be fronting the camera because Chinese authorities, keen to develop their own homegrown tech champions, increasingly want to keep foreign competitors at arm’s length.

“Achieving such a goal might be unrealistic. But its mere existence serves as a warning to foreign technology providers that going against the ruling party’s wishes could hinder their efforts in a lucrative, fast-growing market,” Quartz’ report says.

Hence the desire by Western chiefs to be widely seen smiling next to local Chinese politicians.

Or, in Zuckerberg’s case, being photographed going for a jog inside a smoggy Tienanmen Square.

About Ross Kelly

Ross Kelly
Ross Kelly is a London-based business journalist. He has been a staff correspondent or editor at The Wall Street Journal, Yahoo Finance and the Australian Associated Press.