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Why is Russia becoming the “new darling” of technology companies?

A few days ago, Huawei announced that it would add three R&D centers in Russia.

Of course, it is not only one person who fancy the fighting nation, but many technology companies have long extended an olive branch to Russia. Chinese companies such as Alibaba, Haier, overseas giants have Microsoft, Facebook, Intel, Samsung…

This grand occasion has a dramatic contrast with the megatrend of “escape from Silicon Valley”. A few years ago, many multinational companies were rushing to make neighbors with the “star predecessors” of Silicon Valley. Now what is wrong with this?

After all, Silicon Valley is the gathering place of the world’s top technical talents, and most technology companies and investment institutions are also gathered here. It is not difficult to understand how to establish a research and development center here. In contrast, what is the unique charm of Russia?

Former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill once described Russia as “a difficult riddle to wrap secrets.” The politicians are still like this, and ordinary people are even more ugly. We may wish to follow the pace of technology companies to extend a Russian “out of the circle” journey.

How far is Russia’s business ability in the circle?
Russia’s “out of the circle” in the global R&D map of technology companies is not unrelated to Huawei’s recent big-handed efforts: it recruits 1,500 Russian employees within five years. What concept? More than the number of Huawei’s six R&D centers in the United States. In comparison, there are fewer than a thousand employees in Intel Russia. Samsung has only 100 employees in the artificial intelligence R&D center in Moscow, and Microsoft has almost 100 people. When you get a shot, you know if you have it. Pushed Russia into the spotlight.

The ordinary people are just like watching the fans buy the list for the small fresh meat. The head of the Buddha question mark: Is the business ability really so strong?

In fact, the core elements that need to be considered in establishing an R&D center in a non-home country are nothing more than these: first, the endowment of talent resources; second, the industrial and policy factors of the host country; and third, the psychological relationship with the home country of the enterprise. distance.

Speaking of talents, Russia’s good mathematical science foundation is no longer news. There are far from the founding mathematics school master Shafarevich, nearly Dmitry Orlov, Perelman such a new generation of outstanding mathematicians, St. Petersburg, Moscow University and other universities are also in information technology. It is not surprising that the field has the world’s top scientific research strength, and technology companies eager to make breakthroughs in basic algorithms and operating systems, and go to Russia to explore the “talent gold mine.”

As a host country, Russia’s industrial base and policy orientation in the fields of communication technology and artificial intelligence are also one of the key factors attracting many technology companies. Not only the basic level is obvious, for example, the first computer in Turin test in human history is from the Russian team, and the mobile operating system Aurora OS is also produced by Russia.

In promoting the level of policy support for high-tech industries, Russia’s national mobilization is also more powerful than many countries.

In addition to last year’s “superstructure” clearly released a series of ambitious strategies such as artificial intelligence, automation, and big data, Russia also consciously attracts local talents to return to the high-tech industry, attracting technology giants to establish R&D centers. An important means of increasing the competitiveness of local positions.

In a meeting with Zuckerberg, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev expressed his desire to establish a research and development center here.

Of course, although we hope that overseas giants will come to recruit talents, Russia is not all-inclusive. Nowadays, many countries have consciously established industrial alliances, and the “soft power” factors such as cultural similarity, close diplomatic relations, and psychological distance have become important reference indicators. For example, Russia has always had a good interaction with China and is a concentrated cooperation target of many industries. Therefore, barriers to entry are relatively low, and it is easy to establish a deep cooperative relationship.

For example, in the face of Huawei’s large-scale “1500 research team” program, Arjuncono Aveda, director of the Institute of System Programming at the Russian Academy of Sciences, also expressed his belief that Huawei will train talents, not just high-paying from Russia. The company has dug up employees, and it seems that it has been hurt by the influx of technical talents into the United States. Therefore, it is difficult to achieve cooperation without long-term and solid trust.

After the circle, what will Russia do next?
Of course, Russia is not the only choice in the R&D network of multinational companies.

A survey of global multinational companies by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) shows that the countries that most attract multinational companies to set up R&D centers are: USA, UK, China, France, Japan, and India.

At present, the pursuit of low R&D costs is no longer the main motivation for multinational companies to transfer R&D centers. Instead, they want to be close to the market and more easily access R&D resources including technical talents. Each region of each country has its own areas of expertise and consciously chooses in the location of overseas research and development, which can better improve the knowledge acquisition efficiency of enterprises.

In particular, Russia’s high-tech industry is unevenly developed, with 20% of its employees concentrated in Moscow and surrounding areas and St. Petersburg. Therefore, the “design according to local conditions” and targeted layout is particularly important.

So what specific areas are Russia capable and willing to explore the answer together?

The first thing to do is to explore the 5G application path. Although the 5G commercial process is fierce, there are still many problems. For example, the industrial-level deployment cost is relatively high. The combination of network characteristics and industrial requirements still lacks a complete landing plan. In the upstream components such as RF components, most of them are used by Broadcom in the US. Qorvo, Skyworks and other international manufacturers such as Murata, TAIYO YUDEN and TDK.

In the face of these problems, the Russian industrial cluster has begun to act. National technology group Rostec plans to introduce GSM signal suppression technology and anti-UAV solutions, and is developing R&D integrated IoT solutions for urban utilities, transportation, industry and energy; Chairman of the Russian Software Development Association (Russoft) Even Gyeonggi Makarov also announced the promotion of 5G network infrastructure and the timetable for the launch of 6G technology. In collaboration with the research and development of other countries’ technology giants, there is no doubt that they can jointly promote the industrial process and avoid the potential risks of the US companies to control the industrial chain.

The second is machine automation. Inheriting the Soviet Union’s automation industry base, the hard-core development strength of military robots, and the intelligence level in military and security systems, Russia has become a master of technology for industrial intelligent robots.

The Robotics Development Center under the Russian Advanced Research Foundation has exhibited an intelligent robot called Fedor, which assists astronauts in a series of work. In the absence of participation, Russian combat robots have also played a major role in many battles and are one of Russia’s “key subjects”.

At present, the advantages of global head technology companies in the fields of deep learning, image recognition, and intelligent search are becoming more and more prominent. Intelligent robot projects are often limited to fields such as mechanics and natural language processing, which can complement the advantages of Russia.

Another concern is biometrics.

Russia’s emphasis on security can be described by the term “terror”, but compared with the trend of large demand growth, the development of new technologies and solutions in the Russian security market is relatively slow, and biometrics are more typical.

The Russian Federal Council has approved a bill allowing banks to collect biometric information from customers, such as face images and voice messages, and store them in the Integrated Identification and Authentication System (ESIA) to create a customer bio database for the national financial system.

However, as a new security category, biometrics still has many difficult problems to be solved, such as the coordination and standards of biometric systems and technologies, the development and operation of evaluation systems and algorithm programs, and the exploitation of market potential. The puzzles need to be opened up through collaborative research and development.

In addition, for the blockchain and digital currency, Russia also rarely showed a tolerant attitude.

Although Putin once said in an interview with the media, Russia will not have its own digital currency because it is “a product that transcends national borders.” But when Facebook issued the Libra currency, the Russian Ministry of Finance was not as enemies as the politicians and financial circles of other countries. It also publicly stated that it would not issue any special regulations on Facebook’s digital currency. For the fighting nation, this attitude is almost gentle.

In fact, the use of new technologies to enhance Russia’s weak economy and breakthrough the US-led economic blockade is an area that Russia has been focusing on. In 2017, Putin discussed the landing of the technology in Russia twice with the celebrity V in the blockchain field, preparing to apply it on cargo tracking, identity authentication, and copyright protection systems.

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