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Rumor: Apple to open R&D and data center facilities in China

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 
Apple is rumored to be readying for a push into China that involves the opening of a supposed research and development center in Beijing and the relocation of a number of App Store and iTunes servers to better serve the Asian market.

Tim Cook
Apple CEO Tim Cook visiting an Authorized Apple Reseller during his most recent trip to China.


Sources told popular Chinese web portal Tencent (via BrightWire) on Tuesday that Apple CEO Tim Cook outlined plans for the R&D center with acting Beijing Mayor Wang Anshun on Jan. 8.

Cook recently visited China and met with the country's head of industry and information technology Miao Wei to discuss Apple's business in the region as well as global communications sector in general. The executive also held talks with the world's largest cellular carrier China Mobile over "matters of cooperation," indicating negotiations for a deal to sell the iPhone or iPad on the telecom's network are ongoing. Currently Apple has two partner carriers in the country in China Telecom and China Unicom.

During the alleged meeting with Wang, Cook also noted that Apple will move to China an undisclosed number of servers dedicated to the App Store and iTunes. Separate sources indicated that Zhangjiakou, Hebei Province or Inner Mongolia could be potential location for the data center which is expected to improve download times for users in the region. The exact nature of the R&D center was not revealed.

Apple is expanding its reach internationally with a new R&D center in Israel aimed at chip making technologies as well as rumored interest in building a facility as part of Russia's "Technopark" initiative.
post #2 of 24

This makes sense, so the stock will tank another 5% tomorrow. :) I think this is so funny, from every perspective.

post #3 of 24
Makes sense. China is such a huge current market and future potential market. Plus China Mobile's requirements would at least be a handset that supports their native '3G' and '4G', and potentially a special email, FaceTime, iMessages and other data network that abides by certain draconian laws.

"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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post #4 of 24

Plus, I suspect, there are a lot of pretty smart people in China, many of which might like to stay in China.

The state is nothing more than a criminal gang writ large.

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The state is nothing more than a criminal gang writ large.

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post #5 of 24
Better bring gas masks. Just saw some alarming photos of pollution in Beijing. Really too bad, I have been there several times and love that city and its people.
post #6 of 24

Lot's of folks have opened R&D facilities in China or India, but to little result. Seems very "un-Apple like" to follow that pattern (although I could see doing ethnographic based design research there.)

post #7 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by DESuserIGN View Post

Lot's of folks have opened R&D facilities in China or India, but to little result. Seems very "un-Apple like" to follow that pattern (although I could see doing ethnographic based design research there.)

"To little result"? Just your wild hunch that you thought we should all care to know, or do you have any evidence?
post #8 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by DESuserIGN View Post

Lot's of folks have opened R&D facilities in China or India, but to little result. Seems very "un-Apple like" to follow that pattern (although I could see doing ethnographic based design research there.)

 

Well, I have been to IBM's R&D facilities in New Delhi (India) a few times, and while I can't be very specific (due to obvious reasons), I have seen some extraordinary product developments there (and there was nothing ethnographic about it). And I am not talking about stolen/copied, or reverse-engineered stuff either.

 

A global company like Apple should not subscribe to ignorance. Making some investments can also go a long way in getting some support. I do not see anything wrong with such a move.

post #9 of 24

Makes perfect sense. This is the only way Apple will crack the Chinese market with the App Store because I'm pretty sure the Chinese government will require near total control over the servers and will demand the ability to remove "offensive" apps (political or otherwise) at will. I'd also wager they will insist on a large kickback on every app sale... y'know... "for the kids".

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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post #10 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

Makes perfect sense. This is the only way Apple will crack the Chinese market with the App Store because I'm pretty sure the Chinese government will require near total control over the servers and will demand the ability to remove "offensive" apps (political or otherwise) at will. I'd also wager they will insist on a large kickback on every app sale... y'know... "for the kids".

 

I agree. I was actually surprised by how quickly Apple was able to get the Chinese App Store up and running. Companies need to go through a lot of red-tape (and "grey-tape") to operate over here, it appears that Apple is playing the game right. Google could learn a few things from them.

post #11 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

I'm pretty sure the Chinese government .......will demand the ability to remove "offensive" apps (political or otherwise) at will.....

So does the US government. And Apple has complied.

Why shouldn't they in China!?
post #12 of 24
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post
So does the US government. And Apple has complied.

 

What apps would be allowed domestically by Apple's policies to which the US government would object? 

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already fucked.

 

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Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already fucked.

 

Reply
post #13 of 24

i don't think a R&D center in china makes much sense. chinese character support has been nice already. what else is needed for chinese market? all i can think of for apple to have a "R&D" center is for testing apple products, apple apps localization, and some apple specific services. if apple localizes its products, then it will segment its markets. 

post #14 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

What apps would be allowed domestically by Apple's policies to which the US government would object? 

I am not arguing the merits (whether here or elsewhere), but simply stating a factual point.

Here are just two examples, since you seem to have missed it:
http://www.macrumors.com/2011/12/12/apple-pulls-app-for-creating-fake-drivers-licenses-following-u-s-senators-complaint/
http://www.macrumors.com/2011/06/08/apple-bans-dui-checkpoint-apps/
post #15 of 24
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post
I am not arguing the merits (whether here or elsewhere), but simply stating a factual point.

Here are just two examples, since you seem to have missed it:
http://www.macrumors.com/2011/12/12/apple-pulls-app-for-creating-fake-drivers-licenses-following-u-s-senators-complaint/
http://www.macrumors.com/2011/06/08/apple-bans-dui-checkpoint-apps/

 

Ah, yes, those. Thanks for reminding me; you're right.

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already fucked.

 

Reply

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already fucked.

 

Reply
post #16 of 24

Well, America, it was nice while it lasted.

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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post #17 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

Well, America, it was nice while it lasted.

 

Say it aint so. 

post #18 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

Well, America, it was nice while it lasted.

Ho ho, the fat lady is merely humming
How to enter the Apple logo  on iOS:
/Settings/Keyboard/Shortcut and paste in  which you copied from an email draft or a note. Screendump
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How to enter the Apple logo  on iOS:
/Settings/Keyboard/Shortcut and paste in  which you copied from an email draft or a note. Screendump
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post #19 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilBoogie View Post

Ho ho, the fat lady is merely humming

She forgot the words, and it looks like she'll not remember them for a long, long time . . .
post #20 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by blackbook View Post

Say it aint so. 

It ain't so.
post #21 of 24

its does make sense to broaden their server fleet to other countries, I think we can all agree on that point.  However, what worries me personally is how this will affect connectivity globally.  One of the distinct advantages I had while in China on my last trip was that Apple devices were the only devices I could use to connect back home when the Chinese Government put a lock-down on the Internet during the last year's Chinese elections and the US elections back in October/November.  If you were on a computer...I couldn't communicate back home at all.  Gmail, Hotmail, Google search...everything was locked down to local search only.  The only things that seemed to work for me was my iPhone and iPad via Apple.  I couldn't use skype, but Facetime worked.  I couldn't use Gmail on a web browser, but my mail app on my iPhone work.  My theory was that since Apple's native applications run through services outside of China, it was much more difficult for the Chinese Government to block those connections.  But that's just my theory on the matter.  With that, If Apple starts introducing servers in China, who's to say the Chinese Government isn't going to step in and lock them down too.  That would really be a hindrance for people like me who frequently travel to China.


Edited by antkm1 - 1/16/13 at 6:14am
post #22 of 24
@antkm1, this is very interesting. I've sometimes wondered if this de facto message and video communication network of Apple's is a very big deal for the future or not. Maybe the less said about it in public the better, but I would like to know how it's doing in terms of bandwidth vs. the load it carries, and what it could be in the future. The few times I've used FaceTime to my brother in New York, it's been very good, and it really is a kind of virtual visiting. Apple may have another tiger by the tail here, but few see what's going on. Anyway, thanks for the info.
post #23 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post


"To little result"? Just your wild hunch that you thought we should all care to know, or do you have any evidence?

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by dreyfus2 View Post

 

Well, I have been to IBM's R&D facilities in New Delhi (India) a few times, and while I can't be very specific (due to obvious reasons), I have seen some extraordinary product developments there (and there was nothing ethnographic about it). And I am not talking about stolen/copied, or reverse-engineered stuff either.

 

A global company like Apple should not subscribe to ignorance. Making some investments can also go a long way in getting some support. I do not see anything wrong with such a move.

 

I know there are talented people everywhere, but it seems most of the active ones end up working in the west. That may be unfortunate, but it is a pretty factual observation. All the best foreign students in my grad school class are still in the US or Europe 10 years later.

Intel, Microsoft, and IBM have all opened R&D offices in China and/or India (most for many years now.) But I have yet to hear of any yield from them that is of more than localized import. But, by all means, please inform me of their important work. I saw the creation of these ventures as a way of securing market access and understanding (and for access to cheaper execution of research conceived elsewhere) more than as a deep basic research effort.

post #24 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by antkm1 View Post

One of the distinct advantages I had while in China on my last trip was that Apple devices were the only devices I could use to connect back home when the Chinese Government put a lock-down on the Internet during the last year's Chinese elections and the US elections back in October/November.  If you were on a computer...I couldn't communicate back home at all.  Gmail, Hotmail, Google search...everything was locked down to local search only.  The only things that seemed to work for me was my iPhone and iPad via Apple.  I couldn't use skype, but Facetime worked.  I couldn't use Gmail on a web browser, but my mail app on my iPhone work.  My theory was that since Apple's native applications run through services outside of China, it was much more difficult for the Chinese Government to block those connections.  But that's just my theory on the matter.

No, it's not difficult at all for them to block access to external services. In fact, it's very easy since all external Internet traffic goes through their firewalls. They can block anything they want, whenever they want. The reason why you were able to access Gmail using the Mail app on your iPhone is because IMAP access to Gmail is not blocked. If you use a mail client such as Outlook Express on your laptop you will be able to access Gmail from within China as well. As for Skype, you need to download a special client for China and I believe it only allows paid calls. That's interesting that you didn't have problems using FaceTime - I have never been able to get it to work when calling friends overseas (however when calling other people here in China it works fine).
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