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Facebook finally has some non-sales employees in the UK

'Engineering centre' with 12 real techies opens in adland

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Facebook's first engineering office outside the US opened in London on Tuesday, after the company announced in July this year that it was looking to hire 22 techies in the UK.

The dominant social network chose not to move East to the British government-lauded Silicon Roundabout, instead preferring to keep its engineers within reach of the capital's adland by plonking the team in its Covent Garden office at 42 Earlham Street. Fair enough, as it is an advertising company.

Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne glad-handed Facebook execs and their business strategy. He also took the opportunity to big up the Tory-led Coalition's obsession with Web2.0rhea:

"I hope it... reflects something of the work we have done as a government over the last couple of years to make this a go-to place for technology businesses," he said, according to Reuters.

The love-in continued with Facebook's engineering veep Mike Schroepfer chiming in to say that London was "rapidly emerging as a global technology hub".

So far, Facebook has hired 12 engineers at its London office. The company said last week, in a regulatory filing that revealed that Mark Zuckerberg's network paid just £185,196 in corporation tax in 2011, that it hoped to build a team of 22 engineers in the UK this year.

In July, Facebook explained what it hoped to achieve with its tech bods in London. The team will be led by Philip Su, who has relocated to Blighty's capital from the US. It said:

London is a perfect fit for Facebook engineering - it's a global hub, and it has a vibrant local startup community with lots of great technical talent. Our team in London will start small, focusing on building a core of great engineers, and then grow over time and eventually focus on building products in key areas like mobile and platform.

Facebook's other engineering centres are in New York and Seattle. ®

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