Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL) execs announced that for the first time, its new OSX and iOS6 systems would feature a Siri that understands Mandarin and Cantonese, while including improved handwriting recognition to detect the language’s calligraphic nature. Add to the fact that each will integrate with popular Chinese websites like Sina Weibo, Youku, and Todu, and it’s easy to see that Apple is placing a greater emphasis on the Middle Kingdom.
Looking at the company’s financials, we can begin to understand why. Currently, close to 20% of Apple’s total revenue is derived from Chinese consumers, and its presence in this country has been expanding much more rapidly than it has in other parts of the world. Revenues from outside the country grew by 22.0% over the past year, though China-specific streams flirted with $5.7 billion last quarter after amounting to just $2.6 billion in Q1 of 2011. As mentioned in the company’s most recent 10-Q, much of this growth can be attributed to “the successful launch of the iPhone 4S in mainland China.”