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China's Improved Infra Leads To PictureTel Expansion

Taking advantage of improvements in China's network infrastructure, PictureTel Corp., a network videoconferencing vendor, will open a new sales and support office in the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou and significantly enlarge its operations in Shanghai.

"The new facilities in Guangzhou and Shanghai will allow us to take better advantage of opportunities for PictureTel videoconferencing products in China created by improved infrastructure and wider availability of higher bandwidth transmission technologies such as ISDN and Frame Relay," said George Ni, PictureTel's managing director for Asia.

The new offices will be responsible for supporting increased business development and customer service activities of the company in China, where it conducts most of its business through resellers and distributors.

"The widespread adoption of these technologies both among government bodies and state-owned companies has been given added impetus by the rapidly increasing number of privately-held enterprises in southern China including foreign multinationals deploying advanced communications equipment," Ni added. "We expect to increase our sales by 30 percent in southern China during 1999."

PictureTel's major customers in China include the Shanghai Post and Telecommunications Authority, the Industrial & Commercial Bank of China, the Ministry of Water Resources, the China National Offshore Oil Corporation, IBM China and the Customs General Administration (CGA) where it has installed equipment for a new national video-network linking all of the country's major points of entry.

In Asia, PictureTel has provided network videoconferencing services for the Sub-courts of Singapore, Korea Telecom, HSBC, Shanghai PTT, MTRC, Siam Commercial Bank, 3M, Colgate-Palmolive and Procter & Gamble.