CEO says Apple to help China's apps go global

Updated: 2016-05-20 08:23

By Ma Si(China Daily Europe)

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Apple Inc will further speed up efforts to help Chinese mobile apps go global, as local developers reportedly raked in earnings exceeding $7 billion from the company's App Store.

Tim Cook, CEO of the US tech giant, said in Beijing on May 16 that about half of the earnings came in the past 12 months alone, indicating strong momentum in the industry.

He made the remark during his latest trip to Beijing, as the company tries to boost its contracting smartphone sales in China, its second-largest market after the United States.

 CEO says Apple to help China's apps go global

Apple CEO Tim Cook takes a Didi taxi with Jean Liu Qing, president of Didi, to an Apple store in Wangfujing in downtown Beijing on May 16. Cook's visit follows Apple's investment of $1 billion in the Chinese ride-hailing service.

"Chinese developers are already technologically strong, and Apple will offer more help in the marketing side to help them venture into overseas markets," he said during a meeting at an Apple store in Beijing.

Apple announced it has pumped $1 billion into Didi Chuxing, China's largest ride-hailing platform.

The US company says Cook was in Beijing for an App Store developer activity. It declined to comment on whether he would meet with high-level Chinese officials to talk about regulatory issues.

Last month, the government shut down Apple's iTunes movie and iBooks services on the mainland, while this month the company lost exclusive rights to its iPhone trademark in China.

Neil Shah, research director at Counterpoint Technology Market Research, says Cook's visit to China, coupled with the recent investment in Didi and Cook's promise to help Chinese developers, add up to the fact that "China is, and will remain, the most important market for Apple".

"Didi's scale and reach is a great channel for Apple to integrate its core services such as Apple Pay and Apple Music into the Didi vehicles and get a share out of the customers' lives," he says.

The car-hailing app handles more than 11 million rides a day and serves about 300 million users in China.

"We believe that, apart from meeting with Didi, strengthening ties with government and checking the Apple stores' rollout progress are other reasons for this trip," Shah adds.

Apple opened seven stores in China during the quarter ending in March and will open five more to take the tally to 40 by the end of June, signifying the importance of the Chinese market for the company.

Liu Zheng contributed to this story.

CEO says Apple to help China's apps go global

(China Daily European Weekly 05/20/2016 page25)