Tim Cook, the chief executive for Apple, has said that it would be opening its first stores in India in 201 and later in this year, it would open an online outlet geared specifically for the Indian market. Approval for the new physical stores has to be approved by the Indian government due to Apple not having a local partner.
The announcement came during Apple’s annual shareholders’ meeting where investors of the company took time to vote on a proposal when governments request apps be remove from their marketplace. While the proposed measure did not get approved, the margin against was substantially less than in previous proposals and subsequent votes.
The move by Apple into India, which currently supports the world’s second largest smartphone market, has been anticipated. In 2018, the country changed laws that put a stop to the opening of stores in India by foreign brands if it related to a single brand. However, Cook stated that India preferred it would have had a local partner but that Apple does things their way and working in a partnership would not be a good idea.
Currently, all Apple products are sold in India using third-party stores, but sales for its brands are behind those of Huawei and Samsung. As the company is seeing growth of its brands in China, it is hoping that it could see the same results in India.
Vote on Human rights
Investors of Apple furthermore voted on a proposal that would impact the manner to how Apple manages government requests for the removal of apps from its Apps Store. This proposal, had it been approved would have forced Apple to respect the “freedom of expression as a human right.” This related to the Chinese government’s removal of certain apps that permitted Hong Kong protestors to circumvent the strict restrictions relating to the internet in China.
Those that supported the measure felt that Apple was empowering Chinas in terms of having these apps removed. The result saw 40% shooting down the proposal, similar to those from the past that were similar. Only two investor groups were in favour, Institutional Shareholder Services and Glass Lewis.