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Lenovo snaps up ex-Moto staff in mobile push

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In a sign of its growing ambition in the mobile device space, Lenovo has recruited scores of ex-Motorola employees made redundant after Google’s decision to close down the firm’s R&D plant in Nanjing.

The Beijing News reported that the Chinese PC giant – which this month jumped to number one in the world rankings according to Gartner – has already hired 40 former Moto staff to its own Nanjing R&D centre to work on mobile phone and tablet projects.

It may also have room for another 60, which would mean it employing around a fifth of the 500-odd workers made redundant when the Moto factory closed earlier this year.

Lenovo had apparently planned to set up R&D centres in several other cities but, on hearing news of Google's lay-offs, decided to consolidate its operations in Nanjing.

Around 40 of the staff let go by Googorola will stay with Motorola, more than 200 have signed agreements to end their contracts and others are said to have ended up at local tech firms including Coolpad, NARI and China Telecom.

Google announced in August that 4,000, or a fifth, of Motorola Mobility staff would face the chop in a bid to turn around losses of over $200m since its acquisition deal finally went through in May.

Despite Google’s claims that it offered generous severance packages, workers subsequently protested in Beijing and Nanjing.

As for Lenovo, it goes from strength to strength despite a slowing domestic PC market, thanks in part to its growing success in the mobile space.

A Canalys report on Q2 country-level shipments placed it third in the Chinese market, having achieved stellar year-on-year growth of 2,665 per cent.

To put that in perspective, 42 million smartphones were shipped into the channel in the People’s Republic in Q2 – around a quarter of the global figure and some way higher than the US with 16 per cent.

Lenovo couldn’t immediately be reached for comment on the news. ®

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