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Apple launches 'accelerator' program for developers in China

Developers at Apple's new Accelerator program in Shanghai

Following a similar scheme in Bangalore, Apple has begun a Design and Development Accelerator program in Shanghai, which is designed to teach and support local developers.

Apple has begun a series of lectures, workshops and networking sessions in the Pudong District of Shanghai as part of a program designed to help and support app developers in China. Called a Design and Development Accelerator, it sees local developers working alongside Apple experts.

"Developers here in China are leading the world with some of the most popular apps on the App Store, and we are proud to be providing this additional support for them," said Enwei Xie, Apple's head of developer relations, Greater China, in a statement.

"From education to health to entertainment, the innovation we see here is incredible," he continued, "and we can't wait to see what these talented developers will come up with next."

The program is for developers across all of Apple's platforms, and it began on Tuesday with a workshop dedicated to augmented reality. Alongside a lecture on ARKit 3, Apple provided one-to-one consultation sessions for attendees.

Apple says that Greater China has over 2.5 million app developers, and that since the 2010 launch of the App Store in the region, local developers have earned more than $29 billion. More than $10 billion of that was earned in the last year.

To attend the program, attendees must be registered members of the Apple Development Program and have an Apple ID registered in the region. Through Apple's Developer site, they can then book sessions.

Apple has not said whether this is a short-term program, but it follows the similar App Accelerator scheme in India. That was launched in 2017 and is still running today.

This software development program comes as Apple, and very many other technology companies, are planning to move hardware production out of China.