Shenzhen skyline

Even before Apple has built its first Chinese R&D center in Beijing, Tim Cook has announced that a second one is on the way. Reuters reports that the second one will be in the country’s largest manufacturing district, Shenzhen.

Apple said that this center will be specifically focused on allowing Apple to work more closely with its manufacturing partners in the country …

“We are excited to be opening a new Research and Development center here next year so our engineering team can work even more closely and collaboratively with our manufacturing partners,” Cupertino-based Apple spokesman Josh Rosenstock said in emailed comments.

Strengthening relationships with local universities is a secondary aim, added Rosenstock.

While the Beijing center may be partly geared by political motives, the company seeking to establish better relationships with the Chinese government, a Shenzhen center makes perfect sense for a company which has always said that manufacturing feasibility is a key consideration right from the earliest stages in new product design.

Shenzhen’s importance as a manufacturing center stems from being China’s first Special Economic Zone, which allow inward investment by foreign companies without prior approval from central government. Tax incentives are also provided to encourage growth, and the city is home to many tech companies.

Photo: Wikipedia

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