Apple announces new China MD amid the region's sales downturn

Apple has named Isabel Ge Mahe, vice president of Wireless Technologies, vice president and managing director of Greater China, which is a newly created role in the company.

Effective "later this summer", Ge will be based in Shanghai to lead across Apple's China-based team, and report directly to CEO Tim Cook and COO Jeff Williams. Prior to the new role, Ge has led Apple’s wireless technologies software engineering teams for nine years, focusing on development of cellular, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, NFC, location and motion technologies for nearly every Apple product. She has also overseen the engineering teams developing Apple Pay, HomeKit and CarPlay.

In China, she has worked closely with Apple’s R&D team and carrier partners to develop new China-specific features for iPhone and iPad, including the recently announced iOS 11 features such as QR Code support, SMS fraud prevention and enabling the use of a phone number as an Apple ID, the company said in the announcement.

"I am looking forward to deepening our team’s connections with customers, government and businesses in China to advance innovation and sustainability," she said.

Meanwhile, Tim Cook, Apple's CEO, said Apple is strongly committed to investing and growing in China, and the company is thrilled about the new appointment. "(He) 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," he said in the announcement.

The 100,000-people company has witnessed declines in sales for five consecutive quarters as smartphone and tech product manufacturers are becoming more competitive in the region. The appointment seems to be Apple's latest bet to increase its competitive edge in China.