SINGAPORE: Apple has appointed its vice president of Wireless Technologies, Ms Isabel Ge Mahe, to head up its Greater China business - a first for the company.
According to a press release on Tuesday (Jul 18), the consumer tech giant said Ms Ge Mahe has been named vice president and managing director of Greater China, reporting directly to CEO Tim Cook and chief operating officer Jeff Williams, in this newly created role. She will assume her Shanghai-based role "later this summer", it added.
The long-time Apple executive has led Cupertino's wireless technologies software engineering teams for nine years, focusing on development of cellular, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, near-field communication (NFC), location and motion technologies for nearly every Apple product. She has also overseen the engineering teams developing Apple Pay, HomeKit and CarPlay, the press release said.
Additionally, she has worked with Apple's research and development team and carrier partners in China to develop country-specific features for the iPhone and iPad, including recently announced iOS 11 features such as QR code support and SMS fraud prevention.
“I’m honoured to have this opportunity to represent Apple in China and work more closely with our incredibly talented team,” said Ms Ge Mahe, who was born in Shenyang, Liaoning. "I am looking forward to deepening our team’s connections with customers, government and businesses in China to advance innovation and sustainability.”
The newly created role hints at the growing importance of the Chinese market for the tech giant, and the importance of deepening its connections with "customers, government and businesses". Apple's revenue from the region fell 14.1 per cent to US$10.73 billion in the second quarter, as cheaper rivals chipped away at sales.
The appointment also follows the announcement that Apple has set up its first data centre in China in Guizhou to comply with tougher cybersecurity laws introduced by Beijing in June. The cybersecurity law, passed in November 2016 by the country's parliament, bans online service providers from collecting and selling users' personal information, and gives users the right to have their information deleted in cases of abuse.