HP to Open Cloud, R&D Centers in China

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Hewlett-Packard is opening two new centers in China, one focused on cloud computing, and the other on research, as the company ramps up to address this large market.

The company opened a new HP Cloud Executive Briefing Center in the Chinese city of Tianjin near Beijing on Tuesday. The center will help customers in "building, enabling and operating" HP cloud products, CEO Leo Apotheker said Wednesday in Beijing.

The company also plans to open a new center for research in enterprise servers, storage, and networking. The center, in Beijing, will open at the end of the year.

HP's goal is to deliver market-specific technologies for China, Apotheker said. The company recently made Todd Bradley responsible for planning its strategy for China, in addition to his role as head of the Personal Systems Group.

A number of HP executives are visiting China this week, reflecting the growing importance of the country. The company announced on Sunday that it will build a regional hub in Shanghai focused on the Personal Systems Group, which makes PCs, tablets and smartphones.

Apotheker devoted much of his speech on Wednesday to cloud computing, an area in which HP has ambitions to become a major service provider. In March, the company unveiled a new cloud computing platform that will compete with services offered by Amazon and Google.

During a Q&A session following Apotheker's speech, HP executive vice president Vyomesh Joshi said the company believes cloud printing will be an attractive product to its customers in China. It allows user to remotely print documents from devices like smartphones and tablets to HP printers.

China is likely to become one of the world's fastest adopters of cloud computing, according to research firm Gartner. A Gartner survey found that 55 percent of respondents in China will spend more than 10 percent of their IT budgets on cloud computing by 2013, in contrast to 49 percent of respondents in the U.S. and 42 percent of respondents in Europe.

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