Google Opens First Shenzhen Office, Third in China

By Bailey Hu, January 17, 2018

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It's official: this week, Google opened an office in Shenzhen. It's currently one of three in Chinese mainland, joining Beijing and Shanghai locations that already employ around 600 staff members.

The new office, which will serve as a base for employees visiting Shenzhen, was first reported by TechCrunch.

The article cites this internal email:

Hello China Googlers,

I hope your 2018 is off to a great start! I want to give you all a heads up about a new workspace we’ve opened in Shenzhen. As you may know, we have a number of Googlers in China who travel to the Shenzhen area for business on a regular basis. We’ve heard a lot of feedback that there was a need for a space to work from while in the area—so, after a few months of scouting, we recently signed a lease for a serviced office in Shenzhen. The space opened this week and is now up and running. We’re hopeful this will provide Googlers with a comfortable base to work from in the area.

The information was later confirmed by a company spokesman, who added, "We have many important clients and partners in Shenzhen. We’re setting up this e-suite office to be able to communicate and work with them better."

Although most Google services, with the exception of the Translate app, are still banned in the mainland, the company maintains a decent-sized China workforce of primarily engineers and sales staff. Plus, there's been talk of at least a partial comeback for the internet giant.

Such rumors were bolstered by a December 2017 announcement that Google will open an AI lab in Beijing. A few months earlier, the tech titan also acquired manufacturing operations and staff from Taiwanese smartphone company HTC in a USD1.1 billion deal.

Shenzhen would make a natural next step for the company. The city is a hotbed for techies, hosting the headquarters of Tencent and smartphone manufacturers Huawei and ZTE, plus drone company DJI. Shenzhen's also attracted attention for its vibrant Huaqiangbei electronics market and broad array of maker spaces and tech incubators.

READ MORE: WATCH: Man Builds iPhone from Scratch in Shenzhen

In addition, the Southern metropolis is already home to a 'Google Adwords Experience Center' that helps local companies boost their international marketing game.

For now, though, there's no plan to install anything along the lines of a Google campus in the so-called 'Chinese Silicon Valley.' Instead, the new office will be an outpost in the company's cautious China re-expansion.

[Cover image via Stone]

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