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Apple to open Developer Academy in South Korea to dodge antitrust fine

The tech giant came to an agreement with the country’s antitrust watchdog in February

Apple is set to open South Korea’s first Apple Developer Academy in partnership with Pohang University of Science and Technology, as part of a deal it made in February with the Korean Fair Trade Commission (KFTC) to avoid paying a fine.

The new investment is part of a deal the tech giant made over allegedly abusing its dominant position and forcing mobile carriers to pay for advertising and warranty repairs.

Apple pledged to offer 100 million won (£61.8 million) as part of the deal and said at the time it would spend 40 billion won (£24.7 million) on the R&D centre and 25 billion won (£15.4 million) on the Developer Academy. It also said it would spend 25 billion won (£15.4 million) to give discounts on warranty repair costs for iPhone users.

The Apple Developer Academy will aim to help local entrepreneurs, developers, and designers who are hoping to find and create jobs in the iOS app ecosystem. The nine-month Apple Developer Academy programme is provided free of charge, and any Korean resident over the age of 19 can apply, regardless of education or coding experience. 

The manufacturing R&D Support Centre will support training in the latest smart and green technologies for manufacturing-focused SMEs across the country. The centre provides opportunities for small and medium-sized enterprises to upgrade their technologies, processes, and products by directly connecting with Apple’s experts and equipment.

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The tech giant is also going to provide thousands of iPads to schools and low-income families across the country and Apple’s curriculum, Everyone Can Code and Everyone Can Create, will be available in Korean starting next year, along with free resources for teachers.

“Apple is very proud of its long history with Korea and is expanding meaningful investments that will support job creation in the future,” said Yoon Koo, general manager of Apple Korea.

“The Apple Developer Academy and Manufacturing R&D Support Centre are sharing core skills and knowledge with developers, entrepreneurs and students, we will contribute to creating national economic opportunities.”

At the end of August, South Korea passed a landmark bill banning big app store operators from forcing software developers to use their platform’s payment systems. The Telecommunications Business Act is also known as the “Anti-Google law” and is the first major bill passed by a major economy against Apple and Google.

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