By Philip Elmer-DeWitt
March 29, 2012

It’s hard for Apple to keep his meetings secret when he’s photographed at every turn

The quality of the photos coming out of Tim Cook’s China trip improved significantly when Apple (AAPL) assigned a professional photographer to document its CEO’s travels.

We know, thanks to press photos and amateur snapshots popping up in Chinese social media, that Cook met with China’s vice premier and Beijing’s mayor, stopped by two Apple Stores and visited the headquarters of China Unicom (CHU) and China Telecom (CHA) — but not, so far, China Mobile (CHL).

But it’s through a pair of official Apple handouts that we learn of his visit to Foxconn’s new iPhone factory in the Zhengzhou Technology Park — sending the not-so-subtle message that Tim Cook cares about every worker (his words) involved in the manufacture of Apple products.

Perhaps now we know why Steve Jobs never set foot in a Chinese factory. Would he have agreed to be photographed in a bright yellow rain coat and matching pastic hat?

A few more photos, official and otherwise, below the fold.

With vice premier Li Keqiang

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