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IBM Set For Further Expansion In China

IBM is opening the facility in cooperation with the Chengdu High-Tech Zone, a local authority charged with promoting foreign investment in the region.

Computing and services giant IBM said Monday it plans to open an operations center in southwestern China from which it will provide outsourced application development services to Western and Japanese business customers.

The center, to be located in the city of Chengdu, is slated to open in February, IBM said.

IBM is opening the facility in cooperation with the Chengdu High-Tech Zone, a local authority charged with promoting foreign investment in the region. In addition to serving IBM customers, the center also will provide tech support to IBM's global procurement office, which the company recently moved from upstate New York to the Chinese city of Shenzhen.

"The presence of a vast talent pool, technical capabilities, and business-friendly economic policies make China one of our key locations to deliver world-class services to clients around the world," said Frank Kern, general manager for IBM's Asia Pacific operations, in a statement.

The Chengdu center will coexist alongside an IBM branch office that the company established in the city in 1996. It will be staffed by local talent as well as specialists brought in from other parts of China and from IBM operations around the world, IBM said.

IBM, intent on boosting its long-stagnant top line and cutting costs, is increasing its overall focus on China -- one of the world's fastest growing technology markets. In October, the company said it would launch a $180 million fund in partnership with Lehman Brothers to invest in midsize and mature Chinese companies.

IBM maintains a staff of about 8,300 in China. That number that is expected to rise substantially as the company's initiatives in the country gain steam.

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