Apple has major plans in China: Alongside opening multiple Apple Stores, Tim Cook has recently said that it will open an “independent” research centre, according to Chinese state broadcaster CCTV, as cited by the Wall Street Journal.
The Chinese broadcaster showed Tim Cook meeting with Chinese Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli, where the Apple CEO allegedly made this announcement. CCTV didn’t go into details about what an “independent” research and development centre could mean, but the WSJ suggests this could mean that instead of storing data on Apple’s US-based servers, all the data would remain in China. You may recall that China has been pushing US technology companies to share source code with the Chinese government and accept reviews to prove their products are secure.
Apple has so far managed to find a way around this so it hasn’t had to share source code with the Chinese government, but when it revealed the practice in April, it saw its iBooks and movie services shut down by the Chinese regulator.
Since then, Apple has faced various setbacks in China, such as the loss of exclusive rights to the iPhone name and a patent battle with a technology company which “barely exists” (according to a WSJ report) over the legitimacy of the iPhone 6 design.
Apple has been trying to win the sympathy of the Chinese government by investing $1 billion in Chinese ridesharing firm Didi Chuxing.