Caixin
Oct 12, 2016 04:17 PM
BUSINESS & TECH

Apple Announces Second Chinese R&D Center in Shenzhen

(Beijing) — Apple is planning to expand its presence in China with the launch of a second research and development center in Shenzhen, China's manufacturing and technology hub, as the company faces mounting pressure amid slowing iPhone sales.

Apple CEO Tim Cook announced the plans during a meeting with Shenzhen Party Secretary Ma Xingrui and Mayor Xu Qin on Tuesday night, according to local media reports.

Apple confirmed on Wednesday that the center will open next year in the southern city. The site, where Apple's engineering team will be able to work "closely and collaboratively" with its manufacturing partners, will focus on "strengthening relationships with local partners and universities," the company said in a statement to Caixin.

Apple did not specify how much it will invest in the Shenzhen facility or how many workers it will employ.

The announcement follows a similar plan for a Beijing-based R&D center that will open by the end of this year, the first Apple facility of its kind in China. The company plans to invest 300 million yuan ($45 million) in the Beijing center, which will have 500 employees.

Apple has seen global sales of the company's flagship iPhone slow in 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. The latest data from research firm Counterpoint Technology Market Research showed that Apple dropped to third place in Chinese smartphone shipments in June, while local brands Oppo and Huawei topped the list.

Contact reporter Chen Na (nachen@caixin.com); editor Kerry Nelson (kerry@caixin.com)

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