Following in the footsteps of its brethren like Microsoft and Qualcomm, Apple is reportedly going to boost its investment in China to secure a more dominant market position.

China has always been a very important market in Apple’s eye. Just last year, the country boasted doubled sales of the Cupertino products, but with increased local products and a variety of other factors, Apple’s sales have plummeted by a third of what they were this year.

To set things straight with the world’s second-largest economy, Tim Cook has been reported stating that Apple will now build its first Asia-Pacific research and development center in the country. According to CCTV, the official Chinese state broadcaster, Cook was quoted saying to Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli, one of China’s most senior officials, that the new research and development center will be built by the end of the year.

The CEO said that the R&D center in China will be “independent”. What this means is yet to be revealed. We also don’t know what sort of engineers Apple will employ at this center. But it’s safe to assume that the workings within the setup will be purely hardware, specifically in the wireless communications sector.

With this R&D center in place, Apple will have a foothold in China. Not just this, the company will also be able to conjure raw, unused talent in their favour.

Along with this, Cook has also stated that he will fully support  China’s plan to update traditional manufacturing industries with automation and internet technologies.

This development comes after Apple faced a lot of opposition in China. Just four months ago, the company had trouble with a Chinese court that claimed that the iPhone 6’s design was a rip-off of local smartphones. Not just this, the online book and movies services Apple hosts have also been shut down in the country due to tighter cybersecurity regulations. All this affected the Cupertino directly.

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