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Kaifu Lee Starts Job as Boss of Google China

Kaifu Lee, a target in the on-going fight between Microsoft and Google, has taken up his post as Google's head in China with the aim of recruiting 50 college graduates this year.

Lee, former vice-president with the US software giant Microsoft, said yesterday in Beijing, "We have a lot of expectations for our Chinese operations and the Chinese market."

Speaking after he received permission to work for the search engine in China, he said that Google's development centre in China will be established very soon.

Google has been deciding where to put the centre between Beijing and Shanghai. Lee said his company will make a decision soon.

It already has a representative office in Shanghai and has signed deals with several advertisement agents, preparing for the formal launch of its business in China.

The search giant plans to build a world-class centre in China, which will not only work on the localization of its products and services, but also on cutting-edge technologies for its global operations.

The top Chinese scientist at Google said his job is to hire at least 50 college graduates by the end of this year, as the job-hunting season for graduate students starts this month.

"We are here not to steal talent from other companies, but train local people," he said.

Lee, who enjoys a high reputation among Chinese students for his success in companies including Microsoft and Apple, promised he would lead the 50 new students personally and make them into top-class computer scientists.

He added that since the graduates can only begin work after their graduation in the middle of next year, his firm will also try to recruit engineers from within the industry.

Microsoft Research Asia, which was founded by Lee in 1998 in Beijing, also said yesterday it would aim to recruit 100 to 150 graduates this year.

Although the Chinese scientist received permission to work for Google from a US local court, he was not allowed to work on any projects similar to ones he had worked on at Microsoft.

The world's largest software firm sued Lee and Google for the breach of a non-compete agreement between Microsoft and Lee in July and demanded the court stop Lee from working at Google for one year following his departure from Microsoft.

The court gave Lee the green light to work at Google, but it still needs to rule in January on what jobs Lee can work on at Google so currently his main job is to find employees for his new firm in China.

(China Daily September 22, 2005)

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