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Apple and Google’s recent China investments are telling us something important about the future of tech

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Joel Schroeder
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People walk past stores promoting the Apple iPhone 6S in the southern city of Shenzhen on January 26, 2016.

Google and Apple, two of the world s most powerful technology giants, respectively unveiled deals with major Chinese technology companies Xiaomi and Didi Chuxing in the past week, fuelling speculation about their China market strategy - or, in the case of Google, China market comeback strategy.

The two respective giants controlling the Android and iOS mobile operating systems are in a hurry to find the next growth drivers China, as the world s largest smartphone market enters middle-age, with growth rates in handset sales set to cool.

Apple has to wrestle with falling iPhone sales, while Google needs to first find its way back into China since pulling out in 2010.

Google s search business could return via Sogou, the mainland s third largest search engine company owned by Sohu.com, according to a person with knowledge of the matter, who asked not to be named The two companies have discussed a partnership where Google would perform some of the searches and Sogou would conduct the results screening.

Meanwhile Apple s US$1 billion investment in car-hailing app Didi Chuxing is seen as a win-win deal that would help Apple score new growth in China amid falling sales of iPhones.

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Joel Schroeder
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