Established in Beijing in 1999 and moving to Shenzhen in 2007, BGI today has more than 5,000 employees located around the world, with an average age of only 27 years old. It owns 178 sequencing machines, out of which 128 were bought in 2010 at a prize of 700.000 USD each. With the acquisition of US Complete Genomics, BGI can now produce a variety of large-scale sequencing instruments on her own. So far, BGI has done worldwide 400,000 cases of non-invasive prenatal genetic testing. In July 2014, BGI signed a cooperation agreement with the University of Edinburgh, to synthesize synthetic yeast chromosome VII in the Edinburgh Genome Foundry. The goal is to recreate the chromosome of yeast, a widely applied industrial microbe, so that it can be manipulated for useful purposes. BGI researchers and many other units in July 2014 jointly published by far the most representative of the highest quality, almost complete human gut microbial gene set reference databases.
China Bio news release, Dec. 24, 2014