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Hardware, ‘Advanced’ Tech to be Developed at Apple’s New $45 million Research Hub In China

Hardware, ‘Advanced’ Tech to be Developed at Apple’s New $45 million Research Hub In China
Amidst the efforts by Apple Inc to reverse declining sales in the country, the U.S. tech giant is making a huge investment in research and development in China, its first ever in the second largest economy of the world.
The company would invest 300 million yuan ($45 million) in a research and development center in Beijing.
The Zhongguancun Science Park Administrative Committee, the landlords that run the site where Apple is opening its facility, was the one that  made the announcement on social media. The facility would be located in Beijing's version of Silicon Valley, the Zhongguancun Science Park.
"This is the first R&D Center that Apple has directly invested in China. In the future, this R&D center will be dedicated to researching and developing in the areas of computer hardware and software, telecommunications, video and audio equipment, consumer electronic products, information technology and other advanced technologies," Zhongguancun wrote on Weibo, the Chinese version of Twitter, on Thursday.
Apple hopes to employ around 500 people for the new facility.
In August Apple had made a statement where the company had announced the setting up of a new R&D center in China but had provided no mention of a location or costs. The company pointed to that statement as it did not respond to a request for comment on the new facility.
In recent times, falling sales and regulatory hurdles are being tried to be reversed by the iPhone maker and the move comes while the company tries to reverse its position both in China and globally. Earlier this year Apple’s services such as the iBooks were shut down and the company saw revenues in Greater China fall 33 percent year-on-year in its fiscal third quarter,.
Having visited China twice already this year and meeting with top government officials, Apple chief executive Tim Cook has been on a charm offensive in the country. In a move it hoped would help it understand the Chinese market better, Apple also invetsed $1 billion in Chinese ride-hailing service Didi Chuxing.
Analysts said the new R&D center could create synergies with Didi as it looks to new areas like cars and will help it get closer to the Chinese consumer.
"International firms must look at China differently. It is not just a market to sell products. They need to put in a lot of research on China consumer behavior because it's going to set the trend for other developing markets. It will be great to get a lot of consumer data in China and put it in to global product planning," Nicole Peng, analyst at Canalys told  the media,
"It makes sense to have an R&D center that's close to all these tech companies in China for closer collaboration," Peng says.  

Christopher J. Mitchell

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