The Chinese arm of German industrial group Siemens expects to recruit up to 3,000 new employees during 2006 as part of an expansion plan. Some of the new workers will be used to expand Siemens’ 3G mobile network business in China. Siemens added 5,000 new workers in China in 2005 and is now one of the country’s largest foreign-owned employers, with a workforce of 36,000. Meanwhile, the handset manufacturer Sony Ericsson has won approval to increase its stake in a Chinese electronics firm which makes handset parts. Sony Ericsson is upping its interest in Beijing Suohong Electronics (BSE) from 10% to 74.5%. The Chinese firm will now work more closely with Sony Ericsson’s other Chinese manufacturing plants, including Beijing SE Putian Mobile Company, which is located next to BSE. The news is not all good for foreign equipment manufacturers, however. NEC of Japan says it is reducing the number of handsets it markets in China and cutting back its sales network in the face of stiff competition.