AROUND 1.8 million tech developers in China use Apples Inc.’s platform, earning a total of CNY112 (US$16.93 billion), according to Apple’s chief executive, Tim Cook, speaking at a cybersecurity forum in China on Sunday.
The figures represent roughly a quarter of Apple’s total global App Store earnings.
China is the company’s third-largest region by sales, though recently it has lost some market share to high-end handsets from local rivals.
However, the company hopes it can regain back some momentum after the release of its iPhone 8 and iPhone X models which shipped in November, according to Reuters.
Apple also recently said it had moved its Chinese cloud data onto the servers of a local partner in the Chinese province of Guizhou.
However, In recent months, Apple has faced criticism from local users and rights groups for bowing to pressure from Beijing cyberregulators after it decided to remove hundreds of apps from its Chinese store, including Skype.
“We have been notified by the Ministry of Public Security that a number of voice over internet protocol apps do not comply with local law, therefore these apps have been removed from the App Store in China,” an Apple spokeswoman said at the time, according to Reuters.
Cook’s attendance at the cybersecurity event, organised by the Cybersecurity Administration of China (CAC), which oversees internet regulation including censorship, is one of several trips he has made to China this year. It shows that Apple remains committed to China despite facing continual criticism for bowing to pressure by Chinese regulators.