Wikipedia to open first office outside the US in India

Jimmy Wales, file pic from September 2010 Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales likes India's enthusiasm

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The owner of the online encyclopaedia, Wikipedia, plans to open an office in India.

The Wikimedia Foundation co-founder, Jimmy Wales, said it would be the first office outside the United States.

He told the Indian website, CIOL, that no location had been chosen yet, but the office would open within several months.

Mr Wales said the operation would initially consist of two to four people and serve the local community.

"For Wikimedia, going multilingual and sharing content for all the languages is the way forward," he said.

Indian enthusiasm

Europe and Africa had been considered as possible locations. But Europe was already highly developed and there were concerns about the technical capabilities in Africa, he said.

"India was in the middle of the two extremes," said Mr Wales. "It is a growth region and I also like the enthusiasm in the country."

Wikipedia has more than 91,000 active contributors working in more than 270 languages, according to the Wikipedia website.

Barry Newstead, the chief global development officer, said there was "a general commitment to free knowledge in India".

"We hope to support Indians to realise the vision of a world in which every single person can freely share in the sum of all knowledge," he said in e-mailed comments.

Since its creation in 2001, the free-to-access website has grown rapidly. It attracts nearly 78 millions visitors a month, according to its own figures.

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