Apple has a lot to gain from China’s huge market for smartphones, and thus, it has now appointed Isabel Ge Mahe as its first vice president and managing director of business in Greater China. It is a newly-created role underlining the rising importance of China to the U.S. firm.
Isabel Ge Mahe a perfect fit for the job
China-born Ge Mahe, who will report to CEO Tim Cook and COO Jeff Williams, will join Apple later this summer.
“Apple is strongly committed to invest and grow in China, and we are thrilled that Isabel will be bringing her experience and leadership to our China team,” said CEO Tim Cook.
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Isabel Ge Mahe has been associated with Apple for the past nine years and has been working from the California office, where she was heading Apple’s wireless technologies software engineering teams, notes TechCrunch. These teams handle the development of NFC, cellular, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and location and motion technologies in products.
Ge Mahe also supervised other technologies like CarPlay, HomeKit and Apple Pay, the company said. Ge Mahe has also played an important role in making Apple products suitable for the needs of Chinese customers. She has guided Apple’s R&D team and its carrier partners to include China-specific features in the iPhone and iPad.
She has also handled several other crucial tasks, such as guiding the addition of QR Code support in iOS 11, SMS fraud prevention services exclusive to China, and the feature that allows customers to use a phone number as their Apple ID, notes MacRumors.
Rising importance of China for Apple
While China is known for innovative and cheap Android-based devices that offer tough competition to Apple, it is also a market that offers huge sales and profits opportunities to Apple. However, China is a tough market to crack due to its rigid laws and massive competition from local players, due to which Apple is finding it difficult to maintain its iPhone sales momentum in the country. For example, Apple’s second quarter revenue in China was reported to be $10.7 billion, down from $12.5 billion last year.
Apple also needs China due to stagnating smartphone demand in the U.S. Apple will be hoping that creating a dedicated managerial position for China and appointing a local Chinese will help gain the trust of customers and strengthen relations with businesses and, more importantly, the government.
“Everyone at Apple is proud of the contributions we make to the communities where we do business, and I am looking forward to deepening our team’s connections with customers, government and businesses in China to advance innovation and sustainability,” Ge Mahe said in a statement.
Ge Mahe’s appointment comes just days after the U.S. firm announced it is setting up its first data center in Guizhou district to comply with the new tougher cyber-security laws introduced by Beijing last month. China’s latest cyber-security laws restrict companies from collecting and selling users’ personal information. The new laws also give users the right to get their details or information completely removed in case of misuse.