[TAIPEI] Alphabet's Google is seeking to hire more than 50 people in China for roles ranging from software engineers to creative consultants, ramping up its presence in the world's largest mobile market after scaling back more than five years ago.
Advertisements have been placed on recruitment website LinkedIn since Dec 7 for jobs in Shanghai and Beijing, and include roles in its Google Play online store and mobile business, the listings show. Google already has a few hundred people in engineering and business roles in China, Beijing-based spokeswoman Marsha Wang said by phone. She had no immediate comment on the latest job postings.
The hiring effort underscores how Google may be edging back into the world's most populous country after cutting back on its operations in 2010 over censorship concerns. In October, the US company said it was making its first direct investment in China since 2010, in an artificial-intelligence developer called Mobvoi Inc.
Engineers at Google in China currently work with overseas teams to develop products for global use, while business teams "help Chinese entrepreneurs go global" by selling ads to local companies, Mr Wang said.
In 2010, Google said it wouldn't self-censor content for Chinese services, then shut its local search page and directed users to its Hong Kong website. US-based Internet firms, including LinkedIn Corp., operating in China are required to censor local content. While Google no longer offers search, an area dominated by local rival Baidu Inc., it still runs a substantial mobile and advertising business within the country.
While China's government now blocks Google's Gmail, search services and YouTube, the company's Android software runs most of the country's biggest-selling smartphones. Google is now considering opening an app store for Chinese users, The Information blog has reported.