Move OUT Of CHINA – Company Tells Workers!

Microsoft notified some of its China-based employees that it may be wise to consider relocating to another post outside of the communist country, and offered transfers to that end. The increasing tension between China and the United States, especially around issues of cutting-edge technological development, seems to be the occasion for the move.

Washington has, in recent weeks made new moves to limit Bejing’s ability to get its hands on the advanced microprocessors that AI applications need to function properly, on the grounds that such a hardware-software one-two punch could be used to beef up China’s military capabilities. These moves put US companies operating in China in the difficult position of needing to abide by laws and policies propounded by both countries that stand in direct opposition to one another.

According to the Wall Street Journal, which broke the story, Microsoft asked between seven and eight hundred employees in its machine learning and cloud computing divisions to consider relocation.

Microsoft issued an emailed statement to the press, where it explained that part of managing a global business is providing opportunities for internal advancement. Since the infrastructure for such moves is already in place, offering employees caught in the international policy crossfire a way to transfer out of the trouble spot just makes sense.

Despite this recent move, Microsoft says that it is still “committed” to China, and plans to continue operating in the Chinese market and in other international markets, even as geopolitical concerns cause business difficulties. The Redmond, Washington-based enterprise has one of the largest Chinese footprints of any American company. It first established operations in the communist country in 1992, and operates a large research-and-development plant there.

The affected employees are mostly Chinese nationals. The transfer destinations on offer include the United States, Australia, New Zealand, and Ireland, according to sources familiar with the situation.

The move comes the day after the Biden administration announced a new round of tariffs against products coming from the Chinese market.