China Mobile, China's largest cell phone operator, plans to establish a research and development facility in Silicon Valley in 2009, according to a report from ChinaTechNews.com.
This is the first overseas research and development facility that China Mobile has set up, the news site reported.
Like mobile operators throughout the world, China Mobile is looking to add new data services to its offerings. The president of China Mobile's Institute of Research, Huang Xiaoqing, told the news site that it sees most of its revenue today coming from voice services, but the company recognizes that data services are the future. And it's looking to Silicon Valley for innovation.
China Mobile is already working with Google as part of its Open Handset Alliance. And many people believe that the carrier will soon launch an Android phone into the Chinese market. There's also been speculation recently that China Mobile will be the first Chinese operator to offer Apple's iPhone. But reports say a deal may fall through as China Mobile has asked Apple to strip down the phone and remove its 3G and Wi-Fi capabilities.