IBM announced on Thursday that it is expanding its research center in China to provide independent software makers with resources to develop products for the small and medium-sized business (SMB) market.

The SMB Innovation Center will be an extension of IBM's China Research Lab, which will double in size, as a result of the additional facility. The new center will allow researchers and IBM partners to tap into local technical expertise in order to better server SMB customers in China, where 99% of the businesses fall into that category.

"Establishing this center gives our researchers direct access to new and unique problems which can lead to innovative, open, and first-of-a-kind solutions for our SMB clients around the world," Cathy Lasser, vice president of emerging business at IBM, said in a statement.

The IBM lab is located near Beijing University and Tsinghua University.


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