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Japanese Internet services firm Rakuten opens first European R&D facility in Paris

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February 19
6:41 AM 2014

Japanese Internet service firm Rakuten has opened the Rakuten Institute of Technology in Paris today. This is the company's first research and development (R&D) facility in Europe and its third in the world, according to TechCrunch.

Rakuten's two other R&D centers are located in Tokyo and New York, employing 40 and 10 workers respectively. The facility in Paris will bring together the cmopany's big data team. Another 20 team members will also be added to that office in 2014, the report detailed.

The opening of the Paris center comes just one week after Rakuten publicized its acquisition of chat app Viber in a $900-million deal. The transaction was part of its efforts to be the top Internet services provider worldwide, the report stated.

In a press release, Rakuten Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Hiroshi Mikitani explained: "Our aim globally is to empower retailers and merchants to sell online, and to do this we must keep up with consumers' browsing and buying habits - online, on mobile, via social and any other channels that they may want to use in their purchase journey. That's why we've increased the size of our global research team, so they can work on bringing the next big thing in e-commerce to market, with our support."

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