Adobe wants to double Chinese staff yearly

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MACAU, Nov 12 (Reuters) Adobe Systems Inc, a leading maker of graphic and Web design software, wants to double its headcount in China every year for the next few years, a senior executive said on Monday.

Adobe, which runs a research and development centre in Beijing, now employs up to 200 in the world's fourth largest economy, Daniel Brongiel, vice president of Asia-Pacific Mobile&Devices, said in an interview.

''Our staffing plans are to double the staffing requirements every year and I'm sure we can do that. There's an exceptional resource base to tap into,'' said Brongiel, on the sidelines of the Mobile Asia Congress in the Chinese gambling haven of Macau.

While Adobe is best known for products such as Photoshop, used by professional designers, Acrobat, a document management system for office workers, and Flash, used by sites such as YouTube.com to display online videos, it has been making inroads into mobile phone, video and office-worker markets.

In September, it released new software for its popular Flash Player that promises to bring the quality of live video on mobile phones closer to that of video on computers.

Its Flash software is installed on about 98 percent of all personal computers and is used by virtually all popular online video sites, mainly thanks to the fact that it works independently of the device that the video is displayed on.

For operators -- particularly in China, where a long-awaited rollout of third-generation (3G) services has yet to materialise -- developing data services will be key if operators want to sustain growth and subscribers want to receive high-quality video on their handsets, Brongiel said.

''People want to see consumer video and you need the networks and devices to do those things,'' he said.

''If you look globally, voice revenue continues to decline and operators around the world have made a heavy investment into supporting data services. The problem right now is 80 percent of their revenue is still voice-related, and the 20 percent data is primarily driven by SMS.'' ''Yet they're expecting to yield results on pure data services... It's a high-stakes game they're playing.'' In coming years, China's telecoms players are expected to plough more investment into providing services beyond traditional voice communication, from short messaging to ringtones and mobile music.

Adobe earns most of its money through the sales of packaged software that runs locally on a computer's hard drive, but it has started offering some of its applications online.

Like traditional software vendors including Microsoft Corp.

, Adobe must fend off rivals delivering competing applications over the Web.

Last week, Web search leader Google also rolled out Android software for cellphones in a bid to tap the mobile services market.

''In theory, Android is good for the market ... but the market's going to dictate whether Android's going to happen or not.'' REUTERS BJR HS1758

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