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GE X-ray leaders move to China

Bloomberg News / July 26, 2011

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General Electric Co.’s health care unit, the world’s biggest maker of medical imaging machines, is moving the headquarters of its 115-year-old X-ray business to Beijing.

“A handful’’ of top managers will move to the Chinese capital and there won’t be any job cuts, said Anne LeGrand, general manager of X-ray for GE Healthcare. The headquarters will move from Wisconsin amid a broader plan to invest about $2 billion across China, including opening six “customer innovation’’ and development centers.

The division should have “double-digit’’ growth rates as the country converts from film and analog to digital X-ray technology, LeGrand said.

GE Healthcare, also the world’s biggest maker of magnetic resonance imaging and cardiac tomography scanners, got about $1.1 billion of its $16.9 billion in sales from China last year.

The X-ray business, whose financial results aren’t reported separately by GE, will hire 65 new engineers and support staff at a new Chengdu facility, the company said. GE has hired “a large number’’ of engineers who are in training, LeGrand said. GE, based in Fairfield, Conn., also has a global research center in Shanghai.

“Over the next five years, China will be GE Healthcare’s most important growth market,’’ said Rachel Duan, the China unit’s chief executive.

About 60,000 people work at GE Healthcare globally.