Google is reportedly expanding its presence in China by leasing a new office in Shenzhen, to serve company employees who are in the country for business. Google, Facebook, and other American companies have a limited presence in China, where their services are often restricted because of government censorship and regulation. However, that doesn't mean that Google has no business in China at all. Just recently Google made efforts to expand its hardware team in Shanghai, in a bit to have tighter control on manufacturing. With the new office in Shenzhen, Google could bolster its hardware capabilities and advance its position in the country.
According to a new report from TechCrunch, Google recently informed its staff in China that a new workspace in Shenzhen is available for those who travel regularly to the Shenzhen area. The company reportedly decided to lease that office following feedback that Googlers need a workspace in the area. Google highlights that it has numerous partners and clients in Shenzhen, and the newly-leased workspace would enable its staff to better interact and communicate with them. While the new workspace is thought to benefit the company's hardware team, other staff in different divisions could eventually take advantage of it as well. This marks a notable milestone in Google's efforts to expand its presence in China, albeit it remains to be seen whether the company will set a more permanent workspace in the Shenzhen area.
The space is now up and running, and Googlers can use it to work while in Shenzhen. A separate report, meanwhile, has claimed that Google launched a new Maps app for iOS, specifically customized for China. The report sparked speculation that Google found a way to make its services more readily available in the country, but it seems that it's not the case. The company has refuted those claims, noting that it made no changes to Google Maps in the country and no official mobile app is available. Google Maps has been accessible on desktop for years, but it's not present in Chinese app stores. The company did, however, expand its Shanghai hardware team and it's also teaming up with various local brands to boost global production and enjoy manufacturing at lower costs.