Amid slowing growth in China, Apple is creating a new head position for its Chinese team to invigorate the Chinese business. The global smartphone giant announced today the appointment Isabel Ge Mahe, formerly vice president of Wireless Technologies, as vice president and managing director of Greater China.

Isabel will report directly to CEO Tim Cook and COO Jeff Williams. She will assume her new role later this summer and will be based in Shanghai, the firm says.

“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,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “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.”

This appointment comes when the global tech giant is gradually losing ground to local smartphone manufacturers like Huawei, VIVO, and OPPO. Apple’s Q1 report revealed that its revenue from China, which lost its status as Apple’s second-largest market to Europe last year, slumped by 14 percent year on year, compared with a 1 percent drop globally.

Apple’s decline as a foreign smartphone maker in China isn’t a single case. Something very similar happened to Samsung, only it’s worse for them. A report from Counterpoint shows that Samsung’s smartphone sales in China dropped around 60 percent in Q1 this year. Samsung Note 7’s battery failure and the company’s belated recall plan in China play no small part to the shattering of the Samsung brand.

The rise of local smartphone brands also plagued the foreign competitors. In 2016, a total of 559.7 million mobile phones were shipped in China, of which local smartphone makers account for a dominating 497.8 million or 88.9% of the total shipments.

Emma Lee (Li Xin) was TechNode's e-commerce and new retail reporter until June 2022, when she moved to Sixth Tone to cover technology and consumption. Get in touch with her via or Twitter.

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