Apple China plans to set up two more research hubs and boost investment there.
The announcement comes as CEO Tim Cook takes his latest trip to Apple’s single biggest overseas market. He is expected to be present at the opening of a new Apple store at Jinmao Place in Nanjing this Saturday, March 25.
Apple says it plans to build research hubs in the eastern cities of Shanghai and Suzhou, on top of centres already slated for Beijing and the southern city of Shenzhen. It has also pledged to spend at least US$507 million on research institutions.
All four centres will open thisyear with the aim of enabling co-operation with local partners and attracting talent.
Meanwhile, Cook has addressed an economic forum in Beijing attended by senior government officials and leaders of corporations such as Royal Dutch Shell and Saudi Arabian Oil.
For the first time, iPhone shipments to China fell last year. This followed years of China driving Apple’s growth, even as smartphone demand elsewhere faltered. Now, local vendors like Huawei Technologies, Oppo and Vivo are eroding its market share.