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Google continues China growth


Google continues China growth

American search giant Google has announced that it is continuing to expand within China, by opening another office in the Asian nation.

The news comes one month after the company revealed plans to open its first artificial intelligence lab in the country. Now, the company has opened its third office, with latest base being located in the city of Shenzhen.

Shenzhen is located in South East China in the Guangdong Province and lies on the Hong Kong border. The city is known for being a hub for high-tech companies, with this sector having the biggest economical effect on the city.

Google has not set up a full-blown campus, but has instead taken up a serviced office as of this week. A spokesperson from the company explained that it has many important partners and clients in the area, so setting up an office in the city will enable Google to be in a position to communicate with them more effectively.

The Chinese city is home to some of the biggest tech giants in the world. One of them is Tencent, which is behind the multi-functional messaging app WeChat – the biggest app in Asia and the first app to surpass the $500bn (£378bn) mark in value. It also hosts mobile firms ZTE and Huawei, as well as internet companies Baidu and Alibaba.

The Shenzhen office follows the opening of sites in Shanghai and Chinese capital city Beijing. The latest addition is set to be used by a number of teams from the company that already spend some time in the city. Google made the move after concluding that working out of a permanent office was a more economical move than working out of hotel rooms and public spaces. Google’s China-based sales division, hardware team and employees in sourcing logistics and supply are amongst those most likely to work out of the Shenzhen office.

Further down the line, Google may consider an even more permanent office space that fits the Google identity more, but there has not been a timescale placed on this decision.

The decision to set up a base in Shenzhen reflects the company’s position after securing a $1.1bn (£822m) deal to purchase a large stake in HTC’s smartphone enterprise back in September. Furthermore, Google has upped its efforts in terms of hardware in the Asian country, with reports suggesting its headcount for its hardware engineering division in Shanghai had jumped from 20 to over 100 in the space of a year.

Alan Littler

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