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Apple closing in on 500 stores worldwide with new location near Shanghai

Apple has been busy this year — the Cupertino company will open a new retail store in the suburbs of Shanghai this weekend — the company’s 489th store across the globe.

This is Apple’s seventh retail store in Shanghai, and according to MacRumors, this will be the 21st store Apple has opened this year worldwide. The store is at Vanke Mall in Qibao, and the grand opening will take place on December 10 at 10 a.m. local time.

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Apple is targeting China as a huge growth market, but the company is facing fierce competition from home-grown companies that offer cheaper smartphones, like those from Xiaomi, Huawei, and Oppo. The company has also been dealing with issues in the country with its iPhone 6S devices — a Chinese consumer group is demanding Apple take action as customers have claimed their devices have randomly been shutting down.

The Cupertino, California company has also been accused of copying the design of another phone from a Chinese company for the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. Apple is appealing the case.

Apple is also expected to open a research and development center in China sometime this month — it will be the first in the country, and the company expects to employ around 500 people. Apple is investing about $45 million in the center, which is expected to develop hardware to bolster its presence in the country.

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The new Qibao store is the latest in several store openings that have taken place recently. Among them are stores that cropped up in Paris and Guangzhou, China. For those reading this in Shanghai, the Qibao store’s hours will run from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. 7 days of the week.