Apple to invest $507 million in China

James Pearce
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iPhone-maker is planning to open two new R&D centres in China this year as part of an investment in the country

Apple has announced plans to open two new research and development centres in China as part of are ported $507 million investment in the region.

The R&D hubs, which will be located in Shanghai and Suzhou, follow commitments to build new facilities in Beijing and Shenzen.

The iPhone-maker said it plans to open all four centres later this year, with a focus on building relationships with local partners.

It said it will look to nurture new talent in the region in an attempt to develop new, advanced technology and services for its global base.

 “We are looking forward to working with more local partners and academic institutions through the expansion of R&D centers in China,” said Dan Riccio, SVP of hardware engineering at Apple.

"We are honored to have excellent talent and a positive entrepreneurial spirit in China, and the developers and suppliers here will work together with us to make our business in this market  flourish."

It came as CEO Tim Cook arrived in China, Apple’s biggest foreign market, for an economic conference in Beijing.

China has increasingly became a key market for the smartphone-maker. Since it began selling iPhones in China, it has created more than 4.8 million jobs in the country. It operates 22 offices and 46 retail outlets.

China had played a key role in Apple’s record of never selling less iPhones than the previous year, a record it held until 2016, when sales fell. However, this has slowed due to tough competition from local vendors. Last year, it reported a 13% dip in revenues from Greater China.

Apple is currently the biggest smartphone maker in China, behind local vendors Oppo, Huawei and Vivo. It appears Apple is willing to invest in China in an attempt to regain momentum in the region.