zhongguancun2.jpgReuters has officially opened a development centre in Beijing's Zhongguancun Software Park, often dubbed China's Silicon Valley.

The
centre will provide support and services to Reuters' 3000Xtra desktop
terminal and other key products and the media giant says it will triple
the operation's staff to 600 in three years.

The centre will
also input data related to mergers and acquisitions, company financial
reports and forecasts, and economic data for markets in China, South
Korea and Japan.

Reuters chief executive Tom Glocer says the
investment made in the new centre — reportedly $10m — underscores the
vendor's commitment to China.

The opening of the centre comes at
a delicate time for Reuters' China strategy. The UK-based firm has been
trying to mend fences after the recent uproar in the west about a
supposed new rule governing foreign media in China.

As described in this earlier EngagingChina
story, the rule was seen as harming western interests by requiring all
information to be distributed by the state-run agency, Xinhua. Glocer
initially branded the rule a “substantial threat”.

China's
Premier Wen Jiabao was then dragged into the controversy during an
overseas trip to UK, when he told foreign media that they had to abide
by China's laws.

It later turned out that nothing really had
changed and the rules for foreign media doing business in China were as
they always had been.

To mend bridges, Glocer met with his
counterpart at Xinhua earlier this week. The two firms apparently
agreed to bury the hatchet and cooperate, according to this admittedly self-interested account by Xinhua.

The
controversy shows the problems that even seasoned western firms have
doing business in China, particularly in politically sensitive areas
like the media.

Nevertheless, Reuters has decided that with the
growing amount of financial news and information coming out of China,
it makes sense to have a more substantial presence and, most
importantly from a political point of view, to show it is there to stay
by locating a new software development centre in China.

Reuters agreed to set up in Zhongguancun Software Park last December.

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