Google Inc. is unlikely to have a problem finding staff for a research and development (R&D) centre the company plans to set up in China, according to comments made by Kai-Fu Lee, the head of the company’s Chinese operations, in an interview with the Chinese press.

Google received more than 1,000 resumes within five hours of posting an online notice for available positions at the R&D centre, Lee said, according to a recent interview with the 21st Century Business Herald newspaper. In addition, many more applications were sent to his personal e-mail address, he said.

Lee, a former Microsoft Corp. employee, faces a trial over whether or not competitive concerns raised by his former employer prevent him from taking a job with Google. On Sept. 14, a Washington State judge ruled that Lee could begin work for Google to set up an R&D centre in China while he awaits a trial that will start in January 2006. Shortly after that decision, Lee left for China to begin work for Google.

During the interview, Lee said Google plans to hire a staff of 50 by the end of this year for the China R&D centre, echoing a similar comment he made to the Chinese press last week. A Google spokeswoman last week declined to confirm this number, saying the company hoped to hire as many qualified researchers as it could find.

Lee said Google is hoping to hire staff to fill a range of positions in China, including product managers, software developers and wireless developers. The company is also looking to hire a chef, he said.

Interest in Google has been particularly strong among university graduates, Lee said in the interview, citing the story of an applicant with a master’s degree in computer science from Tsinghua University who, concerned that his programming skills were not up to Google’s standards, had applied for the position of cook’s assistant just to get his foot in the door.

The Google spokeswoman did not immediately respond to an e-mail seeking comment on Lee’s interview.



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