Apple’s CEO Tim Cook Becomes Chairman of Tsinghua Advisory Board

Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, has been named chairman of the advisory board for Tsinghua University’s School of Economics and Management.

Tsinghua University is widely recognized as one of the best universities in China, and the advisory board that Cook is set to chair includes titans of the tech industry like Alibaba’s Jack Ma, Tencent’s Pony Ma, Tesla’s Elon Musk, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and SoftBank’s Masayoshi Son.

While Cook was previously a member of the board, his status will be elevated to chairman. Tim Cook will replace Jim Breyer, the founder and chief executive of Breyer Capital, according to a statement from the university released on Friday, October 18. This development could provide Cook with greater access to influential Chinese business leaders as Apple’s market share in China has been dwindling amidst nationalistic rhetoric that has bolstered support for local handset hero Huawei.

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In addition to business leaders, government officials have occasionally met with the Tsinghua School of Economics and Management advisory board. Chinese President Xi Jinping has met the advisory board on two occasions, once in 2013 and 2017. Other state leaders have also met with the board, including former Premier Zhu Rongji and Vice President Wang Qishan.

This appointment form Tsinghua marks another progressive initiative by the university to vault itself onto the global stage as a world-class academic institution. The school currently ranks 16th globally, according to QS World University Rankings.

In 2016, Tsinghua launched its Schwarzman program, bringing together top international students together with some of China’s finest in an effort to bridge cultural divides and foster a global mindset.