Microsoft China turns 30, offers freebies of jobs and promotions • The Register

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Microsoft marked the 30th anniversary of its operations in China by promising to hire more locals and encourage exports.

The festivities began with new the company plans to hire 1,000 additional workers in China. These hires will push the local workforce past 10,000. More importantly, they signal that Microsoft is seeing strong growth in China at a time when the country’s big tech companies have laid off significant numbers of employees amid lukewarm economic growth.

Microsoft also offered encouraging medium-term prospects by committing to upgrade three of its main campuses in China.

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The software giant’s facilities in Beijing, Shanghai and Suzhou will each be upgraded over the next three to five years. All will receive a technology presented as ideal for hybrid work and the reduction of carbon dioxide emissions.

Even better – from China’s perspective – the expanded offices will house research and development teams that will integrate Chinese intellectual power into Microsoft’s global plans. Sales and marketing teams will also appreciate the improved digs.

As the celebrations continued, Microsoft announcement it had expanded its local “strategic incubator” program – what the company does to attract startups to its ecosystem by offering free or cheap access to its clouds, as well as help in reaching local, regional markets and global.

Interestingly, Microsoft has named automotive, gaming, healthcare, fintech, semiconductor communications, and SaaS cloud applications as its targets.

It’s a somewhat contentious list of industries given that the United States and its allies are doing their best to ensure that China remains less capable than rival nations when it comes to semiconductor technology capability. In games, China has slowed new game approvals, a move that has seen Chinese game companies target overseas sales. Microsoft seems to be in the same mood.

The United States also sees automotive technology as an area where it wants to reduce its dependence on Chinese technology.

The register I can’t imagine a Chinese SaaS company escaping controversy if it expands into global markets – even if Microsoft vouches for it.

Another change at Microsoft China, apparently unrelated to the company’s anniversary, is the appointment of Yuan “Bessie” Xin as president of its China operations.

Yuan recently served as President and General Manager of VMware for China – a gig she seems to have left for Microsoft work.

In a canned statement, Yuan said she was “both thrilled and honored to return to Microsoft” and ready “to help global companies grow in China, promote Chinese innovation to the world…and to make the Chinese market a global stage that inspires innovation”. ®

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