Apple looking to establish research and development center in Beijing

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Apple CEO Tim Cook recently visited China, his second trip to the 1.33 billion people country in past twelve months. He met with China Mobile, the world’s largest carrier with 700 million subscribers, to discuss that long-sought iPhone deal, visited Apple stores and attended meetings in Beijing with officials.

But there was one more thing on Cook’s agenda as a new report out Tuesday has it that Cook told government officials that his company plans to establish a research and development center in Beijing, home to Asia’s largest Apple Store

News comes via MacRumors, which relays a Brightwire report quoting an article from the major Chinese web portal Tencent.

At a meeting with Beijing’s acting mayor Wang Anshun on January 8, Apple CEO Tim Cook said the company plans to set up an R&D center in Beijing, an unnamed insider source told Tencent Tech today.

Per industry sources, Apple will also establish a data center in Zhangjiakou, Hebei Province or Inner Mongolia. The facility will improve the App Store and iTunes experience for customers in China with greater download speeds.

9to5Mac back in September received a word that Apple was building an enormous data center in Hong Kong SAR, China as the company had finalized a location in the New Territories region of Hong Kong near the Shenzhen China border for the data center.

Cook in his interview with China’s news portal Sina Technology News said that China has always been “Apple’s most important market”. The man loves China because the country is “full of life, full of energy and it’s a quickly-changing market”.

Apple’s chief executive also said Apple has been working to shorten the complicated approval process in order to bring its gadgets to China faster, though he refused to talk about Apple’s current product roadmap.

Big media recently agitated spirits with assertions that Apple is building a brand new and inexpensive iPhone model. Representing a major strategic shift for the company, the device is allegedly aimed at China, Brazil and other emerging markets where the pricey iPhone has found itself under a tremendous pressure from Android cheapos.

According to the latest chatter, the company’s manufacturing partners in Taiwan will start full-scale manufacturing of the iPhone 5S (following trial runs in December), a seventh iteration of the iconic smartphone brand.

It is expected in Q1 or around Q2 2013.