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Spotlight: Thirst for talent, growth drives U.S. west high-tech giants going east

14 April 2019 09:44

SAN FRANCISCO. KAZINFORM Large-scale high-tech corporations on the U.S. West Coast have been eyeing central and east states to open new headquarters and branches, which experts believe is essential for fulfilling their quest for growth and talents.

Talent, money and market," Del Christensen, Chief of Global Business Development for the Bay Area Council (BAC), told Xinhua while explaining the phenomenon dubbed "eastward expansion" by U.S. media.

Among the first group to move eastward, Seattle-based e-commerce multinational Amazon had sought to open a second headquarters in the country. BAC, which represents San Francisco Bay Area and Silicon Valley in public affairs and strategy management, took part in the bidding on behalf of the Bay Area, Xinhua reports.

Amazon decided to split its new headquarters between Long Island City in New York City and Crystal City in Arlington, Virginia, but had to give up the plan for Long Island City citing political and social-economic hurdles.

Meanwhile, Silicon Valley giant Google is expanding its NYC office by doubling the number of staff, while Apple has announced plans to build a second campus in Austin, Texas.

With an investment of about 1 billion U.S. dollars, Apple's expansion will hopefully bring the city 15,000 jobs. Its first campus in Austin has already grown almost as big as the 5-billion-U.S.-dollar Apple Park in Cupertino, California.


"I think the biggest one (reason), the most important one, is a quest for human capital, right?" said James DeNicco, Director of the Principles of Economics Program at Rice University.

Going for talent is the No. 1 consideration for Seattle and Bay Area's high-tech giants. They map out Austin, because top schools like University of Texas can be relied upon for sustainable high-level human resource, and an aggregation of medical centers and hospitals here and in the neighboring city of Houston will serve their employees' health to the best degree, DeNicco told Xinhua.

"They want to go where the young talents are, where young people want to live, and they just want to live in these cities (that these corporations target)," said DeNicco, referring to Texas' high-quality workforce and unmatched economic environment.

Since late 1980s, the aggregation of tech companies in Austin has brought the city a new nickname "Silicon Hills." The hilly city, with its growing academic and high-tech sectors, has since lived up to expectations.

Other big names in technology industry including Uber, Facebook and LinkedIn have also embarked on eastward expansions - driven by a common goal -- hunting for talent. Their choices of location still favor New York, Washington D.C., Boston and other already developed eastern cities.

To gain more opportunities in high-tech giants' east expeditions, cities like Pittsburgh are also flexing their muscles in technology. In addition to a globally top-ranking computer science program, one of the city's top universities Carnegie Mellon now boasts a new program of artificial intelligence research and development.

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