US wireless communication giant Motorola aims to recruit up to 1,000 engineers in China, as the country becomes an important research and development (R&D) base for the firm.
Ruey Bin Kao, president of Motorola (China) Electronics Ltd, said yesterday in Beijing that the number of engineers at Motorola's various R&D organizations is expected to increase to 3,000 people this year, from 2,000 at the end of 2005.
China has become the largest R&D destination for Motorola outside the United States; its spending on R&D in China amounts to US$100 million a year, according to Kao.
The US firm has just opened an R&D centre in Hangzhou, close to Shanghai, to focus on the development of mobile telecommunication equipment. Motorola has now set up R&D facilities in six cities in China.
Kao said Motorola had already set up the capability to complete the entire R&D process within China with increasing investment and continuous training of local talent.
Ching Chuang, president of Motorola (China) Technology Ltd and director of the Motorola China R&D Institute, said the role of R&D organizations in the world's largest telecom market in terms of subscribers is becoming increasingly important to Motorola.
"In the first few years, the organizations in China mainly acted as participants and worked project by project, but now quite often we act as a leader in many projects," Ching said.
Engineers have applied for 3,500 patents in recent years, with one-tenth filed to the Chinese authority.
He said that changes in China's mobile telecommunication market had led Motorola to consider increasing its efforts in new areas.
China, which had very little say on the second-generation mobile telecommunication standard, has gained a seat in the third-generation (3G) system with its TD-SCDMA (time division synchronous code division multiple access) standard, and is also working with Japan and South Korea to become a leader in the era beyond 3G.
Another new focus for Motorola is mobile value-added services, as China is expected to release 3G licences this year or the next.
Ching said that since value-added services are what lure customers to 3G phones, Motorola also needs to keep an eye on technology developments in the area.
Besides heavily investing in R&D every year, Motorola also has an early stage accelerator (ESA) system to help its engineers commercialize their research results.
Kurt Estes, ESA business director with Motorola, said the system allows Motorola to identify good ideas from its employees and translate them into commercial products.
Source: China Daily