Tim Cook noted during Monday’s earnings call that Apple was “investing like crazy” in China, but he took the opportunity of his current visit to the country to put a specific number on the company’s retail expansion plans: it will open 25 new Apple Stores in Greater China within the next two years. Greater China includes both Hong Kong and Taiwan.

Speaking to local media, Cook also said that China would in time become Apple’s biggest market, reports the WSJ … 

The paper was able to confirm with Apple that Cook said:

In the future China will become Apple’s biggest revenue contributor. It’s just a matter of time.

Bloomberg noted that Apple’s Q4 results show that Greater China currently makes up 14% of Apple’s revenues. Chief financial officer Luca Maestri described demand from China as “off the charts” and Cook described the country as “an enormous market where there are more people graduating into the middle class than any nation on Earth in history.”

Cook’s visit to China began with a meeting with the country’s vice premier to discuss information security after the recent phishing attack which was reported to have been orchestrated by the Chinese government. He followed this with a visit to an iPhone factory, which he described as “an early highlight” of the trip.

The Apple CEO is due to attend meetings at Beijing’s Tsinghua University, where he is a member of the advisory board for the School of Economics and Management. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, also in China at present, has recently joined the same board and is likely to be attending some of the same meetings. Cook also indicated that he may be meeting with local firms Baidu and Alibaba during his trip.

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Ben Lovejoy

Ben Lovejoy is a British technology writer and EU Editor for 9to5Mac. He’s known for his op-eds and diary pieces, exploring his experience of Apple products over time, for a more rounded review. He also writes fiction, with two technothriller novels, a couple of SF shorts and a rom-com!

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