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

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
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.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 23


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

  • Reply 2 of 23
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    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.
  • Reply 3 of 23
    mj1970mj1970 Posts: 9,002member


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

  • Reply 4 of 23
    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.
  • Reply 5 of 23
    desuserigndesuserign Posts: 1,316member


    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.)

  • Reply 6 of 23
    desuserign wrote: »
    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?
  • Reply 7 of 23
    dreyfus2dreyfus2 Posts: 1,071member

    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.

  • Reply 8 of 23


    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".

  • Reply 9 of 23
    aiaaia Posts: 179member

    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.

  • Reply 10 of 23
    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!?
  • Reply 11 of 23


    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? 

  • Reply 12 of 23


    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. 

  • Reply 13 of 23
    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/
  • Reply 14 of 23


    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.

  • Reply 15 of 23


    Well, America, it was nice while it lasted.

  • Reply 16 of 23
    blackbookblackbook Posts: 1,361member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post


    Well, America, it was nice while it lasted.



     


    Say it aint so. 

  • Reply 17 of 23
    philboogiephilboogie Posts: 7,494member
    Well, America, it was nice while it lasted.

    Ho ho, the fat lady is merely humming
  • Reply 18 of 23
    flaneurflaneur Posts: 4,521member
    philboogie wrote: »
    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 . . .
  • Reply 20 of 23
    antkm1antkm1 Posts: 1,441member


    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.

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