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

What just happened? The US government may be introducing more tech restrictions against China, but it appears that rising tensions between the countries are not affecting US companies’ expansion plans. Microsoft is one of them, having just confirmed that it will add another 1,000 workers to its China operations and upgrade its campuses in the coming 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 hiring campaign will push that number above 10,000 over the next year.

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

Related Reading: US-China Semiconductor Battle: Second and Third Order Consequences

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

The news comes at a time when US-China relations are at their coldest. Earlier this month, US officials ordered Nvidia and AMD to stop selling their AI-centric high-performance GPUs to China and Russia without a license. There are also US export bans and sanctions on a number of Chinese companies, such as Huawei, which has seen its smartphone business suffer greatly since it lost access to US-made technologies. China has also openly opposed the Token Law. And then there is Taiwan.

The announcement is good news for the Chinese economy which, like the US, has been experiencing a recession due to global uncertainty. The country has also been dealing with increased regulatory scrutiny. The situation has led to layoffs at big tech giants like Tencent, Alibaba and Xiaomi, mirroring US companies that have also cut staff this year.

The expansion plans are a reaffirmation that American companies are not losing faith in China and reducing investment in the country. Like Microsoft, Tesla is continuing its expansion in the Asian nation through the Shanghai Gigafactory (above), already the largest electric vehicle manufacturer facility in the world.

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