Apple continues to expand its efforts in China. Today, the company confirmed it will be setting up two more research and development centers in that country, and invest over $500 million in local R&D activities.
Apple’s new research centers will be located in Shanghai and Suzhou. They will join previously announced R&D centers that will be built in Beijing and Shenzhen. All four are scheduled to open sometime before the end of 2017. In a press release, Apple said all of these new locations are meant to take advantage of the many technical experts in China that are a part of the supply chain for the company’s products like the iPhone. The company currently has about 12,000 employees in China.
Having a lot of local R&D centers set up in China is a good idea for Apple, as there is certainly a lot of talented engineers in that country that won’t be able to move to the US to work for the company in its main headquarters. These new centers allow Apple to basically have their cake and eat it as well. Of course, some people have also speculated that more direct investments in China cannot hurt the company’s relations with local governments, which have been mixed in the past.