Apple Inc. plans to open a branch of its famous flagship Apple University in China, as part of the efforts to expand its presence in the world’s largest smartphone market, NetEase reported.
Joel Podolny, the company’s vice president and dean of Apple University, is already interviewing candidates for vice chancellor of the Chinese university, the report said.
Apple University, which opened in 2008, was the brainchild of Steve Jobs and other key company officials, who wanted to build a campus to train mid-level employees and managers.
It was Jobs himself who invited Podolny, former dean of the Yale School of Business, to head the program. Faculty members of the university have come from prestigious institutions like Yale, Harvard, University of California Berkeley, Stanford and Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Apple University has become an extensive and rapidly growing program over the years. Company employees from nearly every level are entitled to sign up for classes at the university via a private website.
This is the first time Apple has decided to expand the program to another region, reflecting its ambition to expand the firm’s presence in China beyond sales and business operations.
Currently, Apple has a great number of suppliers based in the country, and it’s quite likely that the program in China will focus on product engineering and manufacturing.
The company has around 5,000 employees in China, mainly in retail, operation, marketing and corporates. It has 12 stores and offices across the country.
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