AST Research to Open Hong Kong Unit

AST Research Inc., an Irvine manufacturer of accessories for IBM personal computers, is launching its entry into the Asian computer market with a new office and manufacturing facility in Hong Kong, the company announced Monday.

The office, which will open later this month, is the second overseas branch for the fast-growing 3-year-old company. In October, AST opened a sales and marketing operation in England.

However, unlike the European branch, the Hong Kong operation will be a virtual clone of the Irvine headquarters, offering a full range of services, including engineering, manufacturing and sales. In addition, the company expects the office to develop products compatible with Japanese and Chinese computer systems and software programs.

The Hong Kong office, expected to employ 100 by June, will be directed by Albert Wong, one of AST's three co-founders and its executive vice president.

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