Looks like manufacturing is no longer the only thing Apple is doing in China.

According to the Wall Street Journal, it’s been on a hiring spree for engineers, often poaching from competitor HTC and other local tech firms.

Apparently, due to the string of issues surrounding manufacturing conditions and a desire to ramp up hardware development and tighten collaboration with suppliers, Apple is locating more engineering functions in China and Taiwan.

However, “Core research and development will remain in Cupertino,” sources told the Journal. “The signature ‘Designed by Apple in California’ stamp will thus remain on our devices.”

Perhaps most interesting is where Apple is poaching these new hires from.

HTC has had a rough past year, complete with missed Q4 earnings expectations and scrambling to come up with a new phone with better market fit, as we recently reported. Its engineers jumping ship and now contributing their knowledge of local engineer-manufacturing relationships and local consumers is likely not a welcome development.

Apple is also rumored to be planning new phones with features already popular in Android devices, namely larger and enhanced pressure sensor screens — even more reason to grab competitors’ engineers.

Apple has also been hiring from Apple suppliers Inventec Corp. and Quanta Computer Inc. This move is further evidence of the company’s efforts towards smoother manufacturing and quality assurance.

More information:

Apple designs and markets consumer electronics, computer software, and personal computers. The company's best-known hardware products include the Macintosh line of computers, the iPod, the i... All Apple news »

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formerly High Tech Computer Corporation, is a Taiwanese manufacturer of smartphones and tablets. The company initially made smartphones based mostly on Microsoft's Windows Mobile operating s... All HTC news »

Track HTC's Landscape to stay on top of the industry. Access the entire ecosystem, track innovation & deals. Learn more.

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