In addition to moving Mr. Pinto and his family to Beijing in January, Applied Materials, whose headquarters are in Santa Clara, Calif., has just built its newest and largest research labs here. Last week, it even held its annual shareholders’ meeting in Xi’an.
It is hardly alone. Companies — and their engineers — are being drawn here more and more as China develops a high-tech economy that increasingly competes directly with the United States.
A few American companies are even making deals with Chinese companies to license Chinese technology.
Xi’an — a city about 600 miles southwest of Beijing known for the discovery nearby of 2,200-year-old terra cotta warriors — has 47 universities and other institutions of higher learning, churning out engineers with master’s degrees who can be hired for $730 a month.
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