Apple Reportedly Set to Open R&D, Data Centers in Beijing

Apple R&D Store Data Center Beijing ChinaThe Wangfujing Apple Store in Beijing

Apple is reportedly seeking to open a research and development facility in Beijing, as well as relocate App Store and iTunes servers to the country in order to facilitate development and distribution of online content for the Asian market, according to information posted Tuesday by Tencent, a Chinese news portal, and translated by BrightWire.

The report claims that Appel CEO Tim Cook met with Beijing’s acting mayor Wang Anshun on January 8, during his weeklong trip to China. Additional information on the claim is not yet available, except for predictions by Chinese IT sources that Apple could locate its data center in Zhangjiakou, Hebei Province or Inner Mongolia.

Apple is quickly expanding its presence in China and is growing its business there faster than in any other nation. Mr. Cook, during his trip, stated that he believes China will soon become Apple’s most important market, and he noted that Apple’s retail stores in the country are among “the busiest in the world.”

Apple in recent years has sought to establish new data centers outside the United States as the company’s presence has grown internationally, and as it focuses more on cloud-based content and services. As noted by MacRumors, Apple is in the process of establishing a data center in Israel, and has explored the possibility of a facility in Russia, although a deal on the later option is still in its infancy.

Apple is also moving forward with plans for another China-based data center, located in Hong Kong near the company’s Shenzhen manufacturing partners. It is not clear if the Tencent report is referring to the Hong Kong facility, but the report's reference of other locations makes it possible that Apple is exploring options on two separate data centers.