Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Why Microsoft may have asked 700 employees in China to relocate – Times of India

Must read

Microsoft has asked some of its China-based employees to consider relocating to locations outside the country. The US-based tech giant may have made this request to its staff as tensions over technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) and semiconductors keep increasing between the US and China.
According to a report by The Wall Street Journal, Microsoft has asked about 700 to 800 of its staff.These employees who have been asked to relocate are involved in machine learning and other work related to cloud computing.

Microsoft asking employees to relocate to these locations

The report cited sources familiar with the matter to claim that the company offered multiple employees, who are mostly engineers, the option to transfer to locations outside China. This includes locations like the US, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand.

How the US-China relationship may be behind Microsoft’s decision

As per the WSJ report, this move comes as tensions in Sino-US relations deepen. Recently, US President Joe Biden‘s administration also hiked tariffs on various Chinese imports. This includes electric vehicle (EV) batteries, computer chips and medical products.

Earlier this month, the US Commerce Department was reportedly considering a new regulatory push to restrict the export of proprietary or closed-source AI models, reported Reuters. These models are the ones whose software and the data it is trained on are kept under wraps.

What Microsoft has to say about this move

In an emailed statement to the news agency Reuters, a Microsoft spokesperson said: “Providing internal opportunities is a regular part of managing our global business. As part of this process, we shared an optional internal transfer opportunity with a subset of employees.”
However, the company didn’t specify the number of employees it has requested to relocate.
Microsoft’s spokesperson also highlighted that the company remains committed to China and will continue to operate there and other markets, the spokesperson said.

Latest article