Road Game

Your intrepid reporter is in Shanghai this week, where it occured to me that here’s a way to get around any H-1B visa arguments: Go on the road.

Motorola last month opened an R&D center — its 17th — in Hangzhou, in Eastern China. The cellphone maker wants to tap into local talent and provide Chinese operators with local access to Motorola’s network technologies.
The company, which opened its first such center here in 1993, now employs 1800 workers in R&D in China.

Meanwhile, on Sunday the New York Times reported that a labor shortage (!) in China is pushing companies to look to other Southeastern Asia nations such as Vietnam and Thailand. Said one HR manager in Shenzhen: “People would just show up at the door” a few years ago but “[n]ow we put up an ad looking for five people, and maybe one person shows up.”

As a person who both appreciates irony and values family time over a bulging frequent flyer account, I don’t know whether to laugh or cry or both.

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About Mike

Mike Buetow is president of the Printed Circuit Engineering Association ( He previously was editor-in-chief of Circuits Assembly magazine, the leading publication for electronics manufacturing, and PCD&F, the leading publication for printed circuit design and fabrication. He spent 21 years as vice president and editorial director of UP Media Group, for which he oversaw all editorial and production aspects. He has more than 30 years' experience in the electronics industry, including six years at IPC, an electronics trade association, at which he was a technical projects manager and communications director. He has also held editorial positions at SMT Magazine, community newspapers and in book publishing. He is a graduate of the University of Illinois. Follow Mike on Twitter: @mikebuetow