Snap Inc. Is Opening a New Research and Development Office in China

23 Dec

By Mudit Mohilay, The Tech Portal

Snapchat’s spectacles are a pretty high point for the company. The company has really put in a lot of efforts in marketing the gadgets — even though the marketing was rather unconventional and in form of pop-up shops. The company seems to have some seriously high hopes from its spectacles and as such, it is now opening a brand new R&D technology office in Shenzhen, China.

In case you are unaware of the fact, Shenzhen is where the company manufacturers the rather strange looking, recording-capable spectacles. Rather ironically though, the Spectacles are pretty much useless in the country since the Snapchat app itself is banned in China. Nevertheless, for reasons that have attracted a lot of companies to set up their manufacturing units in China — such as cheap labor — Snap Inc. has set up its spectacle assembling units in China.

Coming back to the new R&D center in Shenzhen, the offices are expected to play a key role in the development of Spectacles and the company is bulking up on the staff by poaching employees from companies like Alibaba, Baidu and Tencent. From what we have been able to gather, the company has been able to induce many employees to make the shift by offering them incentives like stock options and the option to go abroad to Snap Inc.’s US offices!

Meanwhile, one thing is clear. While Snap Inc. CEO Evan Spiegel went and called the Spectacles as toys — no one creates a dedicated R&D facility for mere toys. The company’s future is very like to be one that involves Spectacle wearing people and you can bet that those Spectacles will pack some serious punch.

It is too early to guess at exactly where the company is planning to go with its Spectacles, however, the Shenzhen office appears to be the prelude to something major to me. This is pure guesswork on my part but I wonder if Snap Inc is following the trail laid down by Google Glasses or at least, is walking a similar path.