In a fresh move to bolster its ties with China, Apple has announced it would open a research and development centre in Shenzhen -- the hardware manufacturing hub for the world, media reported on Wednesday.
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It is the second R&D centre in China announced by the Cupertino-based tech giant lately.
"We are excited to be opening a new Research and Development centre here next year so our engineering team can work even more closely and collaboratively with our manufacturing partners," an Apple spokesperson told Quartz.
"The Shenzhen centre, along with the Beijing centre, is also aimed at strengthening relationships with local partners and universities as we work to support talent development across the country," the spokesperson added.
Apple CEO Tim Cook reportedly met government officials to formally announce the new centre.
"Today, when it comes to manufacturing, Shenzhen is still a very important city for us -- we now employ over 100,000 workers," Cook was quoted as saying.
Shenzhen is home to key Chinese tech companies like Huawei and social media giant Tencent.
According to an earlier report in China Daily, the Beijing facility will be set up in Wangjing area.
"The centre will have nearly 500 employees and the total investment will eventually reach 300 million yuan ($45 million)," the administrative committee of Zhongguancun Science Park posted on social media.
Zhongguancun Science Park has 40 premier universities and colleges such as Peking University and Tsinghua University as well as more than 200 scientific institutions.
"The centre will focus on developing computers, softwares, audio and video devices as well as other consumer electronics," the report added.
During his China visit in August, Cook pledged to set up a full-fledged research and development facility in the country.
In May, Apple invested $1 billion into Didi Chuxing, China's biggest ride-hailing platform.
Apple and Chinese bank card association UnionPay Shoppers also launched Apple Pay earlier this year.
Cook last year said China would be Apple's largest market within two years and that the number of Apple stores in China would almost double to 40 within that time frame.