Apple plans major R&D investment in China

The company has had run-ins with Chinese authorities in the past...

Apple plans major R&D investment in China

Mark Lennihan / AP

Apple's chief executive Tim Cook has pledged to increase the company's investment in China by creating Apple’s first research center in the country.

A spokesperson from the firm said it will focus on developing new products and "strengthening relationships with local partners and universities."

"We look forward to expanding our operations in China with a new Research and Development center as we continue to grow our talented team here," the statement continued.

Chinese state broadcaster CCTV reported that China's Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli met with Mr Cook on Tuesday.

The California firm has not offered further details regarding the amount of money which will be invested in the facility, its future headcount, or where it will be located.

This move comes after an extraordinary period of iPhone 6 fuelled growth in China has cooled significantly. It faces stiff opposition from local producers making cheaper high-spec phones.

Apple's iTune movies and iBookstores were recently shut down by Chinese authorities as part of a crackdown on what The Financial Times describes as 'foreign content.' The country is also tightening its cybersecurity regulations.

In May Apple announced that it will invest $1bn in Didi Chuxing Technology Co - a Chinese Uber-style ride-sharing company.

It currently employs 9,000 people in China.