Microsoft Asks Employees to Relocate from China Amid Escalating US Relations

Microsoft Urges Employees to Consider Moving out of China Amid Rising Tensions with US

In response to escalating tensions between the United States and China, Microsoft has asked some of its China-based employees to consider relocation. The continued friction involves issues related to artificial intelligence technology, semiconductors, and cloud computing.

According to a report by Reuters, citing the Wall Street Journal, the request affects between 700 and 800 employees working in machine learning and cloud technology sectors. These employees, mainly engineers of Chinese origin, have been asked to consider relocating to countries like the U.S., Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand.

While confirming the existence of such a request, a Microsoft representative did not specify the exact number of employees asked to consider relocation. The company emphasized its ongoing commitment to the Chinese market, denying any plans to exit the country.

Microsoft’s decision coincides with a significant deterioration in U.S.-China relations due to a trade war and competition in high-tech sectors. Notably, the Biden administration has imposed tariffs on several categories of Chinese imports, including computer chips, medical products, and electric vehicle equipment, including batteries (EV). The U.S. is also examining additional restrictions on the export of AI technology, particularly proprietary AI models with closed source codes. These developments pose significant challenges for American IT companies operating in the Chinese market.

As Reuters points out, Microsoft’s decision to relocate some of its employees from China is a precautionary measure amid the escalating tension between the two countries. However, the company maintains that it does not intend to completely withdraw from the Chinese market.

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