Aiming to accelerate its transformation to an offline-to-online model, China's Suning Commerce Group has formally established its first overseas research and development center in Palo Alto, California.

Located at Silicon Valley's core area at No. 1661 Page Mill Road, Palo Alto, this R&D unit will have an initial investment of USD5 million. According to the company's planning, by mid-2014 the R&D center will have a team of 50 people and the number will reach 200 in the next three years.

In 2013, Suning launched a new road map, which stated that the electronics retail group will transform to an Internet retailer while developing offline-to-online and open platforms. By applying Internet technologies, the group aims to improve the operating efficiency and service experience of the retail industry. Suning's new Silicon Valley R&D center will provide technical support to aid this vision.

Sun Weimin, vice chairman of Suning, said the main research direction of the R&D center will include search, big data, high-performance computing, and future business models. By analyzing and researching global advanced technologies and business technology trend, the R&D center will drive the long-term strategic development and market competitiveness of Suning.

In the future, Suning also plans to open R&D units with different functions in New York and Seattle.

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