Apple Opening R&D Center in Zhongguancun, China's 'Silicon Valley'

Apple has set up its first research and development center in China in Zhongguancun Science Park, according to a statement released by the Zhongguancun Park Management Committee (via DigiTimes).

Zhongguancun is a technology hub situated in the Haidian District in northwestern Beijing and is very well known in China. Often referred to as "China's Silicon Valley", the area has gathered nearly 20,000 technology enterprises since its emergence in the 1950s. The hub has many local prestigious academy affiliations, and is home to research centers for several global tech companies, including Google, Intel, AMD, Sony, and Microsoft.

Zhongguancun Beijing china
Zhongguancun main street and plaza in northwestern Beijing, China.
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Apple's new R&D center in Zhongguancun has reportedly registered a capital of $15 million, with total investment likely to reach $45 million in the future, according to the park's press release. The center will employ a total of 500 staff and focus on the development of "computer software and hardware products, communication, audio and video devices, as well as advanced technologies for consumer electronics products and the information industry".

The R&D facility is expected to complete in 2016 and to be used to integrate Apple's engineering and business teams to increase regional sales and services, according to media reports in China.

The news comes on the heels of Apple CEO Tim Cook's announcement last month during a visit to China that an R&D center would be coming to the country "by the end of the year".

The move has been seen as a response to the iPhone's dwindling returns in the country as consumers opt for low-cost alternatives available on the Chinese market. Apple has also experienced a series of setbacks in the region this year, including the closure of the iTunes and iBooks store and a number of lawsuits that have prevented it from being able to focus on gaining traction in the country's lucrative mobile segment. Although once Apple's second largest market in the world, the company announced during July's earnings report that its revenue in China had dropped 33 percent year-over-year.

Apple has set up similar R&D centers in Japan, Israel, and the UK, and is said to be planning similar facilities in Canada, India, Indonesia and Vietnam to take advantage of local resources.

Tag: China


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26 weeks ago

Hiring like crazy and opening R&D centers all over the world.

Apple is gearing up for (further) domination.


No, they're doomed. I saw it somewhere.
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I didn't think I'd see the day Apple needs a multimillion dollar investment to relearn what Steve already knew...stop trying to shake down your customers for profit on a $9 dongle and instead build an insanely great product that truly is the best that you can make with the technology available so that customers will see the value for their hard earned money.


They did, the customers are, and the dongle was free in the box.
Rating: 4 Votes
Avatar
26 weeks ago
And Apple is going to face the very same Chinese competition here on its home turf as the Chinese start stepping up offerings with display technologies and specs that rival those of Apple for half the cost, such as the Honor 8 phone does.

I didn't think I'd see the day Apple needs a multimillion dollar investment to relearn what Steve already knew...stop trying to shake down your customers for profit on a $9 dongle and instead build an insanely great product that truly is the best that you can make with the technology available so that customers will see the value for their hard earned money.

Don't get me wrong, I am not stupid. I understand international business sufficiently to understand and agree that Apple needs to establish substantial presence in the countries to which it sells its products. I'm just saying there is a reason that's not hard to figure out about its declining sales in China.
Rating: 4 Votes
Avatar
26 weeks ago

No, they're doomed. I saw it somewhere.
[doublepost=1475148707][/doublepost]

They did, the customers are, and the dongle was free in the box.

Yeah but we have to buy more dongles for all our headphones if we don't want to carry the single one around or lose it when we take it off to use our headphones with our stereos or computers. Besides, dongles was just a throwaway example of the many ways Apple sneaks out a bit of profit here and there.

I don't hate Apple, goodness no or I wouldn't be here and I wouldn't be planning out future purchases from them. I'm just giving them a bit of a o_O look at some of the things I think run contrary to the focus on the customer experience that I was used to getting from them.
[doublepost=1475159637][/doublepost]

Apple uses such local employment bribes in place of lobbyists, to try to get tax breaks, permission for stores and services, hopefully better patent court results, etc.

It worked in Ireland. Hasn't worked in India very much. Pretty unlikely to work in China. A $45 million investment is nothing.

Still, if a side effect is more localized apps and features, it'll be a win for China users.

I would imagine or hope that's all Apple expects to get out of this. Serious R&D will be pilfered so they would be wise to stick to endeavors that will benefit the local population in much the same way they were able to develop the capability for the IPhone to work with the Japanese card system. There are elements to Chinese culture and daily life that should not be left to guessing or assumptions or even visits. Heck, I'm half Asian and I get it wrong a lot when it comes to understanding the nuances of the various Asian cultures that make up my heritage. It is really challenging to mix perspectives from east and west and not screw something up. Apple needs to be there in the thick of this daily life to better serve their Chinese customers.

I just wonder if the Chinese government will foil them at every turn there.

I do question how Tim justifies to himself as a human being all the butt kissing he has to do in order to conduct business in a country that has so many government sanctioned restrictions on gay rights as well as other human rights violations like enforced abortions listed in the other post on this thread.
Rating: 2 Votes
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26 weeks ago
Hiring like crazy and opening R&D centers all over the world.

Apple is gearing up for (further) domination.
Rating: 2 Votes
Avatar
26 weeks ago
Wave goodbye to your IP and trade secrets, Apple...
Rating: 2 Votes
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26 weeks ago

Yup. Exactly. I hope the China office is airgapped from the rest of Apple. Seriously. This could be a big problem if not handled correctly.


Apple's already screwed. They've put all their eggs in one big authoritarian basket. The instant it's in China's interest to turn off the tap, they'll do it and then see how easy it'll be to get an iPhone Anything...
Rating: 1 Votes
Avatar
26 weeks ago
There's countless stories about trade secret thefts emanating from China, both by private parties and by the Nation-state.

A federal grand jury has indicted six Chinese citizens in what authorities say was a long-
running conspiracy to steal valuable technology from two U.S. firms for the benefit of the Chinese government.

The indictment, unsealed Monday, highlights the threat posed by insiders who use their position to steal sensitive information on behalf of a foreign government or for financial gain. The move is part of a larger trend by the U.S. government to step up efforts to deter Chinese theft of trade secrets.[...]

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/us-indicts-6-chinese-on-charges-of-stealing-trade-secrets/2015/05/19/f11fd35e-fdd8-11e4-805c-c3f407e5a9e9_story.html

Does Apple find the success of China's Great Firewall agreeable?

It wasn't supposed to work.
But China's Great Firewall -- a massive Internet surveillance and content control system -- has, in many respects, been an unparalleled success.
China has Internet companies worth billions of dollars and more web users than the population of the United States -- all while still being able to block information it deems counter to its interests.
And now, some fear, the model is going global.
"If you are sitting in Beijing, what's the problem?" asks Bill Bishop, China watcher and author of the Sinocism China newsletter in the latest episode of "On China."
"You are still in power, you have 650 million Internet users, you have billions of dollars of economic value going to the Internet everyday, you've used the Internet to increase government transparency, investors love us and they can't throw enough money at our companies that have more than half a trillion dollars in market capitalization," says Bishop.[...]

http://www.cnn.com/2015/03/25/asia/china-internet-censorship-kristie-lu-stout/index.html

Last year the Party did lift their one-child restriction policy. They now generously allow two.

BEIJING — Driven by fears that an aging population could jeopardize China’s economic ascent, the Communist Party leadership ended its decades-old “one child” policy on Thursday, announcing that all married couples would be allowed to have two children.[...] For China’s leaders, the controls were a triumphant demonstration of the party’s capacity to reshape even the most intimate dimensions of citizens’ lives. But they bred intense resentment over the brutal intrusions involved, including forced abortions and crippling fines, especially in the countryside.[...]

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/10/30/world/asia/china-end-one-child-policy.html

Does Apple find central control, as practiced in China, attractive? If they don't, they should rethink giving their tacit approval.
Rating: 1 Votes
Avatar
26 weeks ago

Hiring like crazy and opening R&D centers all over the world.

Apple is gearing up for (further) domination.


Apple uses such local employment bribes in place of lobbyists, to try to get tax breaks, permission for stores and services, hopefully better patent court results, etc.

It worked in Ireland. Hasn't worked in India very much. Pretty unlikely to work in China. A $45 million investment is nothing.

Still, if a side effect is more localized apps and features, it'll be a win for China users.
Rating: 1 Votes
Avatar
25 weeks ago

Both China and India are nations where females are not just aborted, but many baby girls are abandoned or killed after birth.

Indian Minister Says 2,000 Girls Are Killed Across the Country Every Day ('http://time.com/3830874/2000-girls-killed-every-day-india-minister/')

Wow, I didn't know that. I know there is violence against women there but did not know that particular statistic. We have very good friends from India who have daughters (no sons) they adore and intend to educate in the best US schools in fields such as engineering and medicine. They are in fact sparing no expense to educate their daughters. They always paint India in a very progressive and idealistic light to my family. In fact, once their girls complete their education here, they all plan to return to India because they prefer it there, overall. They are not considered wealthy here but they are affluent enough. In India, they are apparently well to do and perhaps sheltered from the more brutal realities against females there, especially those of the lower castes. I don't know. It would be a delicate conversation to have with them, so I won't.

In light of that gruesome statistic, it is rather incredible India has managed to have a female Prime Minister while the more progressive US has yet to elect a female president. It has always fascinated me to look around and see the numbers and influence of female leaders who manage to rise to prominence in some of the countries that are more restrictive if not downright brutal to women.

I think the difference between China and India is that officials in India are working toward change. Clearly that female Minister is attempting to make things better for females. They are trying to eradicate brutality in India and it really persists on an institutional level due to corruption, not ideology. But in China, the brutality and oppression is instigated by the government itself. So I can see less ethical conflict about Apple moving into India to do business, but in the case of China which practically celebrates its oppression of people and in fact holds it up as an example to be exported, Apple has to concede a vast disconnect between Tim's stated commitment to social responsibility for Apple.
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Uh, how many pairs of headphones do you have, that you use with your phone? You don't "have to buy more dongles for all our headphones", hardly anyone is going to do that despite what you might do.

All these posts about losing dongles and AirPods, are you guys really that aloof when it comes to your belongings? Do you lose things all the time?

Like I said it's not about this one "dongle" per se, but about what it represents in terms of Apple making changes not for consumer benefit but to eke out more profit. There are numerous comments from forum members, tech reviewers and pundits in general about the logistical pain in the tail this move by Apple has engendered and their possible profit motive for initiating it.
Rating: 1 Votes
Avatar
26 weeks ago
China's Silicon Valley? Zhongguancun sounds more like China's Cancún.
Rating: 1 Votes
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