China leading globally in app development: Apple China chief

Last Updated: Tue, May 28, 2019 13:06 hrs
Apple Logo (AP photo)

Beijing: Ten years after US tech giant Apple Inc launched its App Store, the number of Chinese developers tops 2.2 million and they have become a leading force in app development, said Apple's China chief.

"Chinese app developers are leading the world in terms of app downloads and revenue, and have grown to be a very admirable community of innovators," Isabel Ge Mahe (Ge Yue), Apple's Vice President and Managing Director of Greater China, told Xinhua on the sideline of the China International Big Data Industry Expo 2019 on Sunday.

"Through Apple's App Store, their products have entered the global stage and many of them have become successful cases internationally."

She citied the global success of short video sharing app TikTok, also known as Douyin in China, and the apps developed by China's Palace Museum, as examples of China's innovative ability.

TikTok has 75 language versions and is liked by users from over 150 countries and regions, while the 11 apps developed by the Palace Museum have been downloaded by over 5 million users across the world.

She said Apple's China team had taken a series of steps to encourage home-grown apps to go global and used its experience and resources to help promote them to the global market.

"In the area of mobile Internet, China has become a spotlight of the world," Ge said. "We are proud to make our contributions to China in this digital age and work with Chinese partners for innovative development in the industry."

Apple has launched four R&D centers in the Chinese cities of Beijing, Shenzhen, Shanghai and Suzhou, employing a total of over 1,000 people dedicated to innovation in hardware, software and services, Ge said.

The Apple China chief also hailed the smooth progress of the construction of Apple's first China data centre in Guiyang, adding that Apple had received tremendous support from the local government in the project.

Jointly built by Apple and Guizhou-Cloud Big Data Company, the Guizhou facility, with a budget of 1 billion US dollars, began construction in March. It will be Apple's third after the data centres in the US and Denmark.

From February 28 last year, Apple's iCloud services on the Chinese mainland started to be operated by Guizhou-Cloud Big Data Company, a move Ge said helped provide better services for Chinese Apple users.

She reiterated Apple's long-time commitment in protecting users' privacy and data security.

"There is absolutely no so-called backdoor in Apple products," said Ge. "Protecting privacy is our top priority in designing Apple products and services."

Apple has also been an active promoter of using digital technology in bridging the gap in educational resources and aiding China's fight against poverty, according to Ge.

In 2018, Apple launched a programme to provide digitalised pre-school and vocational education to students in less developed areas in China, with a donation of 25 million yuan ($3.7 million) to the China Development Research Foundation.

"We firmly believe that education is the best way to improve people's livelihoods and tackle inequalities in development," Ge said.