Microsoft eyes opportunities in China’s push for innovation

By Mao Lei

 

China’s efforts to be a global innovation leader offers opportunities to foreign companies like Microsoft, a senior executive of the software giant said.

“We’re committed to continue our partnership with China as we look towards the future, which promises a new era of computing and new opportunities to create continued positive growth and change,” Craig Mundie, Microsoft’s chief research and strategy officer, told Xinhua in a recent written interview.

“As the country (China) continues to strengthen its position as a global innovation leader, we believe the future will happen here,” he said.

For Microsoft, China is not only a major part of its international business, but also “a magnet for global talent and innovation,” Mundie added.

China has become Microsoft’s largest research base outside the United States, with its Asia-Pacific Research and Development Group in economic hubs like Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen, and another 10 branch offices in provincial capital cities.

Mundie said Microsoft is strengthening its research and development efforts in China and has begun construction of additional research facilities in Beijing and Shanghai.

Since Microsoft established its first office in Beijing in 1992, its operations expanded rapidly across China.

“Microsoft has always seen unique opportunity in China and the Chinese market. Today, China represents the leading market for PCs, mobile devices, and Internet users,” Mundie said.

According to Mundie, China has become one of Microsoft’s most strategic and important markets globally, with its operations in China second in scale only to those in the United States.

Microsoft remains committed to partner closely with China as it has done over the past two decades, he said, noting that the company looks forward to a closer partnership over the coming years.

Looking ahead, Mundie listed intellectual property rights (IPR)protection as one issue upon which Microsoft plans to work closely with China.

“Microsoft believes that stronger IPR protection will give Chinese entrepreneurs greater confidence to invest in building innovative and creative businesses, and will help lay a solid foundation for China to build its knowledge economy,” he said.

“Although we have seen good progress here thanks to the efforts of government legalization, we’re also very aware of the huge challenges ahead of us. We will continue to work in close partnership with China’s leadership to address these and other issues that can directly benefit China’s innovation-based industries,” added the Microsoft executive.

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