Hitachi announced that it will officially open a Beijing research and development company in April.
With U.S. $6 million as the registered capital, the HCR&D (Hitachi China Research and Development) Co Ltd will be established from Hitachi China's R&D group, which began operating in China in 2000.
"The promotion from a research group to a company with legal status indicates Hitachi's determination to reinforce its research and operations in China to help it fulfill its ambitions in the world's most populous market," said Tsukada Minoru, the chief executive of Hitachi China.
As Hitachi's third overseas R&D base, the new company in Beijing is also expected to accelerate the company's global strategic development, he said.
The success of Hitachi's R&D group has laid a solid foundation for the smooth progress of the new company, Mr. Tsukada said.
The group set up a laboratory jointly with Tsinghua University in 2001 to engage in research in top technology.
Last year, the group established the Shanghai Information System Research Centre and has promoted co-operation in the research field with well-known universities in Shanghai, including Fudan and Jiaotong.
Hitachi Home & Life Solutions Inc, based in the Shanghai Jinqiao Processing Development Zone, has become a global base for the development of air-conditioners.
Mr. Tsukada said the new company, headquartered in Beijing, plans to open a branch in Shanghai in June. More than 50 will be employed by the two companies. They expect to take on 80 members of staff by the end of this year and a further 40 in 2006.
Mr. Tsukada also disclosed that a total of 1,000 engineers are expected to be engaged in research and development at Chinese companies that have been invested in by Hitachi by the end of 2006.
Hitachi invested in China in 1981, one of the first Japanese companies to do so. It now has 114 joint ventures in the country. The number of its employees in China has reached 28,000.
According to a Hitachi business report, total sales are predicted to hit $7 billion in 2006, compared with $4.5 billion in 2003.
"Hitachi will not only keep its image as a home appliance producer in China but also try to act as a supplier of telecommunications systems and power and industrial systems," Mr. Tsukada said. (XIC)
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