Apple has announced plans to open a research and development (R&D) facility in Shenzhen, China so that the firm's manufacturing and engineering teams can work together more closely.
The move will further increase Apple’s presence in the country and shows that the company is determined to become a major player in the market, even after the Chinese government shut down the iTunes and iBooks services in the country.
Apple CEO Tim Cook announced the plans during a visit to China, first reported in the Shenzhen Economic Daily website, during which he praised Shenzhen for its skilled workers and the role it has played in the company's growth over the past 20 years.
Cook noted that there are now over 100,000 people employed in the city with some connection to Apple, such as through Foxconn's manufacturing facilities that have long been used to make the firm's iPhone and iPad devices.
"We are excited to be opening a new R&D centre here next year so our engineering team can work even more closely and collaboratively with our manufacturing partners," the firm said.
"The Shenzhen centre, along with the Beijing centre, is also aimed at strengthening relationships with local partners and universities as we work to support talent development across the country.”
Shenzhen is one of China’s major tech hubs. Huawei is another major player in the region and may be wary of Apple's presence, especially if the US company starts to tempt workers away.
Apple's move to further embed itself in the region is not surprising given the scale of the Chinese market and the importance of becoming an established player to ensure its devices attain the same level of interest that they enjoy in Western markets.
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