Ballmer: Microsoft hiring thousands in China for Windows Phone and cloud services

Microsoft currently employs around 4,000 staff in China, but that number looks set to grow significantly, as CEO Steve Ballmer signalled plans to hire thousands of new workers there over the next twelve months.

Speaking at a press conference in Shanghai, Ballmer was quoted by Bloomberg as having stated that Microsoft will add “several thousand workers” to its workforce in China, to support the company’s Azure cloud computing services and its Windows Phone operating system.

Ballmer said that China is now the fastest growing market for Windows Phone, which recently overtook BlackBerry in global market share to become the world’s third best-selling smartphone platform, behind Android and iOS. Microsoft apparently hopes to build on that achievement, and on its success in China, although Ballmer did not elaborate on exactly what work the new employees will be doing for Windows Phone or Windows Azure.

Microsoft has also announced that it is preparing to launch a public preview in China of the Azure cloud platform on June 6, which will make it the first multinational company to provide cloud computing services there. Those interested in the preview will be able to sign up for a free trial at WindowsAzure.cn next month.

A special localised version of its Surface Pro tablet also launched in China last month, making it the first country outside of North America to get its hands on the Windows 8 Pro version of the device. 

Source: Bloomberg / Microsoft

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15 Comments

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Good surprise, now OneNote and Skydrive do synchronize fine on my PC in China without VPN. An update must have been made very recently to allow this. Thanks.

However no update to make OneNote work on my Lumia 720 (Skydrive works fine on my Lumia).

I live near Shanghai and I can be contacted directly at Thierry.Brunet@outlook.com if you want me to share further useful tips in China. My full name is Thierry Brunet de Courssou.

Microsoft China, I'll be happy to be a beta tester in China.

Microsoft cloud service “Bing Translate” is wonderful for translating automatically Chinese web pages. Unfortunately, Bing Translation is blocked for secure pages and it cannot be used when online shopping on Chinese sites like http://www.taobao.com (a supersized amazon.com scaled for China's 1.2 billion population, very impressive indeed).

On the other hand Google translate works fine on secure pages and it is great for shopping on Taobao.

I hope/wish Microsoft will support Bing Translate on secure pages in the near future.

This is great news. I live in China, purchased a Nokia 720 when it was launched several weeks ago (I love it) and was terribly upset because (1) Skype is not available for Lumia in China, (2) OneNote does not work on Lumia within China. Skype was working fine on my iPhone in China and I use Skype daily on my PC.

OneNote works fine on my Lumia phone when I travel outside China, but I still cannot get Skype to install on it. On my PC, OneNote 2013 will only synchronize in China when I use VPN (VPN Express). No VPN is available on Lumia in China so impossible to get OneNote working.

I read somewhere a few weeks ago that Microsoft was working on having Skype available in China, but no date announced. I hope Microsoft Azure push in China will bring Skype, Lync and OneNote to work on WindowsPhone. I am going to register on WindowsAzure.cn next month and see what happens.

BTW, anyone knows how to force install Skype on Nokia Lumia in China? I got the app downloaded on my SD card but install in blocked. My Lumia phone boots with the China Unicom logo and I use China Unicom mobile phone service. No problem to install Skype on iPhone and Android in China.

I live in China and have been monitoring jobs on LinkedIn for months. I am not surprised at Balmer's announcement as I have seen hundreds of job postings at Microsoft Shanghai and Bejing in the last past 6 months. I suspected this was in preparation for Azure launch in China and related services.

China like India (Asia) and Eastern Europe is where cheap labour is.

The company will say it is to keep costs down and give the consumer a better deal.

Poppycock, it's all about making a bigger profit margin and screw the tax system.

leesmithg said,
China like India (Asia) and Eastern Europe is where cheap labour is.

The company will say it is to keep costs down and give the consumer a better deal.

Poppycock, it's all about making a bigger profit margin and screw the tax system.


that is exactly what everybody is doing... or at least trying to.

I don't think that's all of it... Especially in this case. If Microsoft is growing in China, they've got to have some data centers in China. I don't think it makes a lot of sense to bring all that data back here no matter how fast the internet is...

they have a data centre. but in enterprises like MS, they have dedicated lines (MPLS and similar), that are not based over internet. these are dedicated lines office-to-office, so to connect all offices globally as one.

Sounds all fine dandy for the growth of this phone. Though I'd rather see these large companies add more jobs in the U.S. while still growing globally. I'm sure these geniuses could figure out a plan right?

Enron said,
Maybe people in the U.S. can buy Windows Phones like the Chinese are doing. MS invests where the money is.

What would be for every company. Microsoft is an MNC - Multi National Company. Of course it will hire local talent.