Apple Appoints New Leader In China Amid Sales Downturn

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Apple Inc. announced on Tuesday evening that it has appointed Isabel Ge Mahe, currently Vice President of wireless technologies at the company, as new Vice President and Managing Director of Greater China, taking on a new role as leader of the company’s efforts in China, amid a sales downturn for the iPhone maker in the world’s most populous country.

New China Head

Isabel Ge Mahe, who worked in wireless technology at Apple for over nine years, will coordinate and lead teams across Apple’s China-based team in the newly created role, the tech giant said in a statement.

Apple Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook also grabbed the opportunity of the announcement to emphasize its commitment to the China market.

“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,” Cook said in the statement. “She has dedicated a great deal of her time in recent years to delivering innovation for the benefit of Apple customers in China, and we look forward to making even greater contributions under her leadership.”

Ge Mahe, who was born in Liaoning province, previously led Apple’s wireless technology and software engineering team for nine years. She said she was looking forward to digging out the team’s connections with customers, government and businesses in China to advance innovation and sustainability.

Mahe has worked closely with Apple’s R&D team and carrier partners to develop new China-specific features for iPhone and iPad, including recently announced iOS 11 features.

“I’m honored to have this opportunity to represent Apple in China and work more closely with our incredibly talented team,” said Ge Mahe.

Apple’s China Sales Downturn

Apple sales in China have declined for five consecutive quarters after a 14% drop in the most recent earnings report, as Asian smartphone manufacturers have become more competitive in the region, putting out ever-cheaper, high-performing smartphones.

Apple’s huge successes in China have also left it more vulnerable to new rules that Beijing has set up to push back against foreign companies. Apple said this month that it would cooperate with a local company to build its own data center in the country, in part to satisfy the requirements of a new cybersecurity law. And experts say the law is just the beginning of further restrictions on foreign companies like Apple.

Apple Stock Performance

Apple shares were up 0.35% to $150.08 during its last session. The firm opened at $149.20 with a session high of $150.13 and a session low of $148.67. The stock has a market capitalization of $785.22 billion, a P/E ratio of 17.55, and a dividend yield of 1.68%.

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