Apple Could Increase China Investment as Tim Cook Visits

Apple has indicated it will consider higher investments in China, as chief executive Tim Cook visited Beijing to meet Chinese officials.

Apple CEO Tim Cook announces a new iPad during an Apple announcement in San Francisco, Wednesday, March 7, 2012. Cook is currently visiting China and there are indications the company could expand operations here. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)

“China is very important to us and we look forward to even greater investment and growth here,” said Carolyn Wu, a Beijing-based Apple spokesperson.

The company did not provide details on the meetings.

This is Mr Cook’s first trip to China since taking the top job in August after the death of founder Steve Jobs.

High Demand

Analysts said further investment in China was likely to come in the form of more stores, amongst other things.

Apple currently has five stores in mainland China and one in Hong Kong, although some Apple products are offered through other resellers.

Apple’s iPhone is currently sold by two telecommunications companies, China Unicom Hong Kong and China Telecom.

“[Mr] Cook will certainly be talking about increasing the number of stores. In the past they were planning an accelerated store roll-out programme,” said Robert Clark, an analyst at Electric Speech, an independent technology and telecom consultancy based in Hong Kong.

Apple products are in high demand in China. Earlier this year, the release of the iPhone 4S was marred by angry crowds outside the Apple store in Sanlitun in Beijing.

Continue reading at BBC News.