News: Chief exec Tim Cook pledges more investment in China with new R&D centre.
Apple is planning to open its first research and development (R&D) centre in China this year in plans to strengthen its presence in the country.
The company’s chief executive Tim Cook revealed the plans to increase investment in local R&D during a meeting with Chinese Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli.
Apple is facing tough competition in China from local smartphone manufactures like Huawei and Oppo. The iPhone maker’s revenues declined one-third in the latest quarter in Greater China.
The new R&D centre will house both new and existing staff. Apple currently employs around 9,000 people in China, with nearly half of them working in the company’s 42 retail stores across the country.
Apple has doubled the number of corporate offices in China to 45 since 2011.
Commenting on the latest move, Apple said: “We look forward to expanding our operations in China with a new research and development centre as we continue to grow our talented team here.
“The centre will open later this year, bringing together our engineering and operations teams in China as we develop advanced technologies and services for our products, both for our customers in China and around the world.”
In May this year, Apple invested $1bn in Chinese ride-sharing company Didi Chuxing.
The move was seen as an attempt from the company to build a better relationship with the Chinese government following several setbacks in the region.
Last September, China accused Apple's local subsidiary of underpaying $70m in taxes by underwriting some of the costs.