Web-search concern Google ( GOOG) has hired Johnny Chou to establish and lead the company's sales and business development operations in China, a nation in which he previously held a management role for UTStarcom ( UTSI).

Chou will be responsible for building Google's sales and channel businesses and expanding the company's strategic partnerships in the region.

At wireless outfit UTStarcom, he was president of the company's China operations for the past nine years.

"The leadership and experience that Johnny Chou brings to Google will be an invaluable asset to Google's plans for developing its business operations in China," said Omid Kordestani, senior vice president of worldwide sales and field operations.

Shares of Google were down $4.03, or 1.2%, to $344.62.