General Electric christens Shanghai technology center

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General Electric Co. (GE) on Oct. 24 opened a $64 million technology center in Shanghai, China, expanding its presence further in that country.

 GE noted that the new facility will be "pivotal to achieving [GE's] objectives of $5 billion in sales and $5 billion in procurement of materials and products in China by 2005."

 GE estimates that its strategy in China could save the company $1 billion, but some union officials are concerned that the center could take manufacturing jobs out of the United States. GE countered by noting its $100 million investment this year in its research center in New York.

 GE expects to generate slightly less than $3 billion in revenues in China this year.

 The new center has 500 employees and is expected to grow to 1,200 employees by 2005.

 GE also plans to open the Europe Technology Center, in Munich, Germany, early next year.