Sep 29, 2016 03:21 PM

Apple Announces Plans for R&D Center in Beijing

(Beijing) — Apple plans to build its first China research and development facility in Beijing to help secure its market share in the world's second-largest economy as iPhone sales fall and the company faces stiff competition from domestic brands.

Apple plans to invest 300 million yuan ($45 million) in the Chinese R&D center, which will have 500 employees, Zhongguancun Science Park said Tuesday on its official WeChat account.

Apple's R&D center will be in Chaoyang Park, one of the Zhongguancun subparks in Beijing created by the central government to provide facilities for technology enterprises, according to the post.

Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Apple CEO Tim Cook revealed the plan to open the company's first Asia-Pacific R&D facility in China during his visit to Beijing in August.

The announcement comes after global sales of the company's flagship iPhone slowed for the past two quarters. Sales in China, once touted as Apple's next growth opportunity, decreased by a third according to its most recent quarterly results, after having more than doubled a year earlier.

Apple dropped to fifth place in Chinese smartphone shipments in May, losing ground to domestic companies Huawei, Vivo, Oppo and Xiaomi, according to the Counterpoint Technology Market Research.

Contact reporter Chen Na (; editor Ken Howe (

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