Software giant Microsoft Corp. plans to hire more than 1,000 employees to boost its existing staff strength in China over the coming year. This expansion is an attempt by Microsoft to ramp up its research and development (R&D) efforts in the country, to better compete with Apple Inc. and Google Inc. in China’s fast-growing mobile Internet market.
Microsoft said that the new employees would be spread across its R&D and marketing segments and customer service. Currently, the company spends around $500 million annually on research and development work in China. It plans to boost its R&D spend by 15% over the same time period. Additionally, Microsoft is building a large cloud computing center in Shanghai that will employ around 600 more employees.
Microsoft’s so-called "go big" strategy for China, includes hiring 1,000 additional employees over the fiscal year, that will work in research, enterprise services, and support for the company. Currently the company has about 4,500 employees in the country.
The company also plans to increase its research and development investment in China next year, bringing it up by 15 percent from the current annual amount of US$500 million.
As part of the overall strategy, the company will expand its presence in 15 provinces and 20 cities in China by bolstering its staff and management and working with local government offices.
The investment is expected to help promote Microsoft’s cloud offerings — including Windows Azure, Office 365, and Windows Server 2012 — in China. It will also help as the company prepares for the upcoming release of Windows 8 and Microsoft Office 2013.