Adobe axes R&D lab in China, insiders blame mandarins and pirates

300 people put Illustrator to good use – designing new CVs


Adobe is closing the doors of its research and development facility in China – and some within the biz are reportedly blaming the recalcitrant attitude of the Chinese government for the move.

"The overall climate in China against Western enterprises has been quite negative and that's one of the major reasons," the anonymous source told Reuters.

Adobe employed about 300 staff at the R&D facility, but the source said the company saw little benefit from the center. In addition to the attitude of the authorities, rampant piracy in the Middle Kingdom was cited as a factor in the decision, as well as Adobe's move away from standalone software into more cloudy offerings.

"Adobe's presence in China will be focused on market development activities moving forward, and it will be dissolving and closing its research and development (R&D) branch there," the company said.

"Adobe will maintain its sales presence in Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Hong Kong and Taiwan."

The Chinese government has been taking an increasingly hard line against Western companies operating within its borders. In July Chinese regulators began an antitrust investigation against Microsoft, and Qualcomm was hit by a similar probe in February.

Of course, that's not to say Chinese companies operating in the West aren't having problems, too. Huawei has been effectively banned from doing business in the US over fears of security backdoors in its products, and other Chinese firms are feeling the heat.

Adobe's move out of the Middle Kingdom may be a sign that Western firms are getting fed up with the situation. But with China poised to become the world's largest economy, Adobe's move may do more harm to the company than good. ®


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