Microsoft expands in China with more jobs and upgrades despite rising international tensions

What just happened? The US government may introduce more tech restrictions against China, but it appears the heightened tensions between the countries are not affecting US companies’ expansion plans. Microsoft is one of them, having just confirmed that it will add 1,000 more employees to its Chinese operations and modernize its campuses over the next few years.

Microsoft employs more than 9,000 full-time people in China, about 80% of whom are research and development specialists and engineering technicians. The company has announced that its recruitment drive will push that number above 10,000 over the next year.

Microsoft’s plans go beyond adding employees in China. The window maker, which has offices in 13 Chinese cities, will also upgrade its campuses in Beijing, Shanghai and Suzhou over the next three to five years.

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The announcement came on the 30th anniversary of Microsoft’s entry into the Chinese market. “We will continue to build our confidence and determination to expand into the Chinese market and increase investment in human resources, campuses, education and the local ecosystem to find new opportunities in China, driven by the development accelerated digital economy in China,” said Hou Yang, president and CEO of Microsoft Greater China,

The news comes at a time when relations between the United States and China are at their most icy. Earlier this month, US officials called on Nvidia and AMD to stop selling their high-performance AI-focused GPUs to China and Russia without a license. There are also export bans and US sanctions against a number of Chinese companies, such as Huawei, which has seen its smartphone business suffer badly since losing access to US-made technology. . China has also been a vocal opponent of the Chips Act. And then there Taiwan.

This announcement is good news for the Chinese economy which, like the United States, is experiencing a slowdown due to global uncertainty. The country also faces increased regulatory scrutiny. The situation has led to layoffs at big tech giants such as Tencent, Alibaba and Xiaomi, as American companies have also downsized this year.

The expansion plans reaffirm that American companies are not losing confidence in China or reducing their investments in the country. Like Microsoft, Tesla is continuing its expansion into the Asian country through the Shanghai Gigafactory (above), already the world’s largest electric vehicle maker factory.

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