HP opens research lab in China

HP has opened its first research laboratory in Beijing the company announced Tuesday, and will focus on scalable information management systems.

Hewlett-Packard (HP) has opened a research laboratory in Beijing the company announced Tuesday. The facility's initial remit will be to focus on developing more scalable information management systems, according to the head of the lab.

"The biggest [Chinese] public and private enterprises definitely have the challenge of improving the quality of their management infrastructure," Meichun Hsu, director of HP Labs China, said in a phone interview Tuesday. "We'll add more to the research agenda over time."

The Beijing lab will be HP's sixth research lab, joining similar facilities in Bangalore, Tokyo, Bristol in the U.K., Haifa in Israel, and the labs' headquarters in California. The other labs are carrying out research into large-scale information processing, heterogenous systems management, printing and imaging.

Hsu wouldn't be drawn on how many staff the Beijing lab will employ nor how much money HP is investing in the facility. For the time being, the lab will be collocated with HP China's headquarters, but as the facility expands, Hsu will explore other location options, she said.

The lab will work with both the private and public sectors as well as China's universities, building on existing relationships, Hsu said. "The time is right to harvest the relationships we've built and grow the lab with the collaboration we've done so far," she added.

Earlier this year, HP announced a research tie-up with China's Ministry of Education and talked up two projects they're working on. One of the projects uses open-source technology from HP Labs to bring together content from over 100 of China's university museums and house the information in an online database. The other project relates to the ministry's plan to integrate resources from a number of universities on the China Education Research Network (CERNET), an Internet backbone linking up educational and research institutes across the country.

Hsu rejoined HP Labs about six months ago to start work on the launch of the Chinese facility, she said. Hsu was mostly recently senior vice president of engineering at Commerce One LLC where she helped design and develop the company's Web services platform product. Prior to that, she worked at HP Labs in leading research into data mining technologies.

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