In 2017, Google’s hardware division launched its second-generation family of products, while expanding the group with the acquisition of several thousand HTC engineers working on the Pixel line and a rumored Nest merger. A new report reveals that Google is bolstering its hardware presence in China with a growing team of engineers based out of Shanghai.

According to The Information (via Android Authority), this Shanghai team has grown from 20 employees a year ago to 150 today. Their primary job is to oversee contractors manufacturing products like the Pixel and Google Home, with the team reporting directly to Mountain View.

Besides those marquee products, this group is also working on the Pixelbook, virtual reality headsets, and wearable devices.

The team consists of former Apple and Amazon employees who are well versed in hardware and the supply chain. Given Google’s production troubles — namely not being able to manufacture enough of the original Pixel and screen issues on the Pixel 2 XL — this is a wise move.

However, of note, the Shanghai team has also hired employees from Jide Technology, who were known for the desktop-based Remix OS that was built on Android.

The focus for this team is partnering with local brands to increase worldwide production, as well as possibly reducing costs by taking advantage of the region’s low-cost manufacturing.

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Abner Li

Editor-in-chief. Interested in the minutiae of Google and Alphabet. Tips/talk: