Well-known Chinese news site Sina (NASDQ: SINA) recently reported that IBM quietly closed its China Research Laboratory (CRL). The IBM CRL was the top one of the 12 IBM global research institutes and was the most influential. CRL was founded in 1995 and hatched numerous famous products like the leading artificial intelligence system Watson. This recent closure sent a shockwave throughout the Chinese technology communities, bringing an end to an era. The CRL was IBM’s first research center in developing countries, headquartered in Beijing. It created a branch in Shanghai in 2008. In the past quarter century, thousands of researchers have worked at IBM CRL. Most of them had doctors or master’s degrees from China’s or the world’s top universities. The CRL focused on research areas of networking, distributed computing and systems management, as well as next generation services. IBM CRL is just the latest exit of the large international high-tech firms. In 2015, Yahoo closed its Beijing Research Center. Amazon closed its centers in 2019, and Oracle closed its Chinese Research Center in the same year. The IBM CRL closure further confirmed the de-linking between China and the United States.
Source: Sina, January 24, 2021