Ericsson to hire more in China this year -source

BEIJING, Feb 3 (Reuters) - Telecom giant Ericsson ERICb.ST may hire a few hundred more people in China this year, as it plans to shift some overseas operations to the country, a company source said on Tuesday.

Local media had earlier reported that the Swedish firm would axe 150 jobs, or 5 percent of its total workforce in China, as part of its previously announced global cutback of 5,000 employees, in an effort to curb cost.

But a source who works in the company’s human resources department said the firm was likely to hire, instead of firing, people in China this year.

“The technology unit would hire a few hundred staff this year and more people are needed in telecom service unit,” said the source who requested anonymity because of the lack of authorisation to speak to media.

A company spokeswoman in Beijing declined to comment on the hiring plan, but described the local media reports as a “rumour”.

Ericsson and its Chinese partners won about 26 percent of China Unicom's 0762.HK 3G network construction orders last month, totalling up to $2.3 billion, according to previous media reports.

Beijing has said it would spend $41 billion in third-generation mobile network construction this year and next. ($=6.84 yuan) (Reporting by Michael Wei and Judy Wu ; Editing by Valerie Lee)