Google China will open a new research center in Shanghai next year, according to company sources quoted in local media. Kaifu Lee, a Google vice-president in China, told the Shanghai Daily that Google aimed to double the number of Chinese sites using its advertising services by the end of the year.
According to Google China's corporate website, the company is now seeking several staff in Shanghai, including a wireless software developer for mobile applications, advertising client relations staff, and a public relations manager. Google's strongest local rival in China, Baidu, recently signed a deal with Nokia to pre-install its mobile search application on Nokia phones.
Google China held an estimated 13.2 per cent of the Chinese search market in the first quarter, according to Beijing-based research firm Analysys International. This put the search specialist behind both China's search leader, Baidu, which had 43.9 per cent and Yahoo China with 21.1 per cent.
Google China's current president, Kaifu Lee, was poached from Microsoft, Google's global rival, in July 2005. Microsoft, which trails far behind in the Chinese search market, opened a research center in Shanghai last September.
Google's new Shanghai R&D centre will be the firm's second in China, with the first, in Beijing, opened last year. The company also has a research centre in Taipei.
The company has recruited a total of 100 engineers in China and plans to double or triple that number, the Ch ina Daily reported last week. Google China vice-president Dr Kai-Fu Lee told Chinese media yesterday that Google would simply seek to hire highly-qualified research staff in Shanghai, with no firm limit on numbers.
However, hiring has been highly selective, according to some sources. The company's Taipei research centre has only taken on 10 software engineers from almost 200 hopefuls since opening in March, the centre's director told Digitimes in Taiwan today. Of these, only six were local hires.
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