Apple's first China R&D focus set up in Beijing, costs $45 mln

A research center of Apple co. has been established in Zhongguancun, a technology hub in Haidian district in Beijing, the district announced through its Wechat account, according to a report from 

It's reported the R&D center has been set up with a total investment of 300 million yuan or 45 million US dollars and it now has around 500 staff members.

It is also the first of its kind that has direct investment by Apple in China.

During a visit to Beijing last month, Apple CEO Tim Cook pledged the company will boost its investment in China, one of its largest but increasingly challenging markets, and build its first Asia-Pacific R&D center in the country.

The firm said its new research center will combine Apple's engineering and operations teams in China as it develops advanced technologies and services for its products.

This move comes even as demand for Apple's iPhones has plummeted, dropping to fifth place in sales behind local brands in the world's second-largest economy.

The company's sales in all of China slid by a third last quarter from a year ago, but are still betting on the long-term prospect of China's huge market.

Analysts say that the firm is putting more efforts in boosting its revenue from its software services, in a bid to reverse the slumping sales of its phones in China.

Statistics released by APP Annie, an analytics services provider, show that in sales revenue of IOS APP Store from the greater China region has surpassed Japan, ranking second next to the United States.

Source: CRI