• Apple CEO Tim Cook reveals plan to build a research and development center in China.

Apple CEO Tim Cook reveals plan to build a research and development center in China. (Photo : Getty Images)

Apple Inc. CEO Tim Cook revealed plans of increasing investment in China as the demand for smartphones and products from the Cupertino-based firm slows in the country.

China is Apple's second biggest iPhone market in the world but it is also becoming one of the toughest places to business both in the tech industry and in any trade in general.

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Because of this, Apple decided to boost sales in China by establishing a research and development facility in the country by the end of the year, Reuters reported.

Apple's Research and Development Facility

Reuters said that Cook made the announcement of bringing in more investments to China while speaking to the country's Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli on Tuesday which was aired by state TV network CCTV.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the bigger investment entails the erection of an independent research and development (R&D) center in the Middle Kingdom that serve as a home to the growing collection of Apple talents in the country.

"We look forward to expanding our operations in China with a new Research and Development center as we continue to grow our talented team here," Cook said.

Citing an Apple spokesperson, the WSJ said that the R&D facility would provide an avenue for the development of innovative products as well as "strengthening relationships with local partners and universities."

However, Cook refused to relay any more details on the project though many are speculating that it is a bid to increase profit from the nation where iPhones sales started to drop.

Apple Sales in China

Apple is gradually making its presence known to the Chinese via several impressive investments to Chinese businesses including the cab-hailing firm Didi Chuxing.

As previously reported, Didi Chuxing received a hefty $1 billion investment from the iPhone-maker which was announced during Cook's visit in Beijing in May.

After that, Didi successfully conquered the entire cab-hailing market in the country after forcing Uber to sell out its China branch to its biggest competitor.

In a report from The Verge, Cook was quoted saying that such investment was made "for a number of strategic reasons, including a chance to learn more about certain segments of the China market."

This reveals that the end goal for all of this was to improve sales in the country which recently took a turn for the worse as iPhone shipments to China dropped 38.4 percent year-over-year during the second quarter, per a report from Engadget.