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Oracle opens Beijing R&D center

The database software maker announces the official opening of a new research facility in the Chinese capital, part of its ongoing expansion into China.

Oracle announced the official opening of its new Beijing research and development center Wednesday, part of the database software maker's ongoing expansion into China.

The Beijing center is the second major engineering facility that the Redwood Shores, Calif.-based company has set up in China in the past two years. Last year, it opened an R&D office in the southern city of Shenzhen that employs about 100 software developers.

Oracle employs 125 workers at the Beijing and Shenzhen centers and expects to hire 75 more during the next year, according to a company representative.

China is Oracle's fastest-growing market. The company has seen sales of its products rise 50 percent there over the past year. Oracle attributes the rising demand to China's entry into the World Trade Organization and the subsequent need for Chinese businesses to ratchet up efficiency in the face of greater global competition.

Both development centers are focused on tweaking Oracle's database and applications software products to meet the needs of Chinese businesses and government agencies, Oracle said. The company is also increasing its emphasis on software for China's medium-size businesses, a market that encompasses tens of thousands of potential customers, Oracle said.

Geographic information systems and wireless communication and computing will also be a focus of Oracle's development activity in China, the company said.

Oracle, like many major U.S. information technology companies, has rapidly expanded operations in Asia over the last several years as part of an effort to increase global sales and tap into low-cost engineering talent. In July, Oracle announced plans to double its work force at two research facilities in India.