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Apple Shanghai R&D center confirmed for summer 2013

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Rumors that Apple would be opening a research and development center in Shanghai came to fruition on Sunday, as it was confirmed that the summer of 2013 will see the company opening just such a facility in Pudong, Shanghai.

The news comes via BrightWire, which cites, the online news section of China Business News, confirming that Apple has registered three buildings in Pudong, with one of them dedicated to procurement management and R&D. The registrations were filed with the Shanghai Municipal Administration for Industry and Commerce.

Apple Store Sanlitun in Beijing, China | Copyright: 变脸.

Earlier rumors had pegged Beijing as the location for a new Apple R&D center, though those soon gave way to reports that Apple would target the Pudong economic development zone.

Previous reports on the R&D center held that Apple has been laying out the project for the past six or seven years, aiming to take up residence in the space this summer. The center's exterior is reportedly complete, though its interior has yet to be decorated. Annual rent for the facility is estimated at 50 million yuan, or more than $8 million.

Apple has identified China as a major area of growth for the future. Speaking during the company's first quarter of fiscal 2013 conference call, CEO Tim Cook described China as "already [Apple's] second largest region," noting that Apple's revenues in Greater China were $7.3 billion for the quarter.

Earlier in January, Cook made his second trip to China in 10 months, meeting with China Mobile, the country's — and the world's — largest carrier.

Despite strong demand for Apple products, the Cupertino company faces some difficulties in China. Apple's products are typically priced out of reach of the average urban Chinese worker, though the company has taken some steps toward making its products more accessible for Chinese consumers.