BEIJING — Apple announced in August that it would be increasing their investment in China through the construction of a new research and development center. Apple’s Chinese investment is expected to improve technological innovation coming out of China as well as provide a needed boost to the country’s slowing economy.
China represents the world’s second largest economy, and a rapidly expanding area for research and development. Investment in R&D in China has leaped from just US$92 billion in 2008 to more than US$243 billion in 2013.
Apple’s new R&D facility will be the first in the Asia-Pacific and is expected to be completed by the end of the year. The center will provide an exciting opportunity for some of China’s best engineers and developers to come together and work on new, cutting-edge products and services. It is also expected to expand on ties to local business partners and universities in an effort to foster innovation and continued investment in the technology sector.
Apple’s Chinese investment with the new R&D center follows a US$1 billion deal with the Chinese ride-hailing app Didi Chuxing announced in May. The company’s recent investments have sparked renewed interest in the technology sector within China and several other companies, including Microsoft and Qualcomm, have also pledged to expand their investment in the country.
The increased investment interest in China comes at just the right time. Recently, China has experienced a marked slowdown of its economy as its rapid growth leveled off. With growth at 6.9 percent in 2015, China marked its slowest annual growth rate in 25 years. Apple’s investment in China could be just the boost the country needs to continue its growth and move into new and expanding markets, including technology.
Apple’s Chinese investment is also expected to improve Chinese-U.S. relations. The Chinese government has been historically wary of new technology and Apple has faced numerous regulatory problems recently as they have attempted to expand their Chinese markets.
The hope is that as companies like Apple begin investing directly in the Chinese technology sector, the government will become more flexible in its regulations and allow technology to become more accessible – something that benefits all through improved efficiency and productivity, allowing companies to produce more for less and pay more to their workers.
Recent investments suggest a promising avenue for prolonged success and growth in China and continued innovation in the increasingly-vital technology sector. With Apple’s investment in China sparking renewed interest in the area and providing the vehicle for new developments, the coming years may see even further innovation – helping both those in China and those aboard.
– Sara Christensen