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Microsoft asks Chinese employees to relocate amid tensions


Microsoft asks Chinese employees to relocate amid tensions

As tensions between China and the United States intensify, Microsoft said on Thursday that it is contemplating requesting some of its employees based in China to relocate overseas.

Due to concerns about Beijing's utilization of advanced chips for military purposes, Washington is striving to restrict Beijing's access to these crucial components. This is straining relations and affecting American businesses in China. The Wall Street Journal reported that Microsoft asked 700 to 800 employees in machine learning and cloud computing to consider relocating. According to the spokeswoman, Microsoft remains committed to China and will continue to do business there, as well as in other countries.

One of the American businesses with the biggest presence in China is the manufacturer of Windows. It operates a sizable research and development facility in the nation and joined the market in 1992. According to the Wall Street Journal, which cited sources familiar with the situation, the workers — the majority of whom are Chinese engineers — were given the opportunity to relocate to the United States, Ireland, Australia, or New Zealand earlier this week. The decision was made shortly after President Joe Biden's administration in the United States increased taxes on several Chinese imports, such as computer chips, medical supplies, and batteries for electric vehicles.

According to a Reuters article earlier this month, there are reports that the U.S. Commerce Department is considering a new regulatory initiative to restrict the export of closed-source or proprietary AI models. These models, which withhold their training data and software as confidential information, are under scrutiny.


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