Nokia cuts R&D staff in China

Finnish phonemaker's downsizing in country moves beyond sales as it lays off staff from a research center in Beijing, while cost-cutting efforts claim another mobile OS project.

Beleaguered phonemaker Nokia is now trimming its research and development (R&D) team in China, after letting go many of its sales team there in recent times.

According to a report by Shanghai's First Financial Daily on Thursday, the Finnish company has laid off workers at a research center in Beijing as part of its plans to lay off 10,000 employees globally by end-2013 . No exact numbers were disclosed, though.

The affected research center is one of the company's 13 global research institutions, and the job cuts targeted employees working in its advanced technology R&D department, though not those working on Microsoft's Windows Phone operating system, according to an unnamed Nokia executive in the report.

The phonemaker had earlier revealed it will squeeze its four sales regions in China into two , namely North and South sales regions, after sales in the country dipped 18 percent to US$6.7 billion in 2011.

Cost-cutting cans OS refresh
In a separate Reuters report on Thursday, unnamed sources said the phone manufactuer scrapped a software project it hoped would rival Google's Android operating system in the mass market space. 

Codenamed Meltemi, the Linux-based software platform was being created to replace its aging Series 40 software in more advanced feature phones but it was halted as part of the company's cost-cutting drive, it added. 

The company declined to comment, Reuters said.