Microsoft is making a small change in its research and development efforts in Asia, as the company is apparently set to close its R&D offices in Seoul, South Korea by the end of February. The change is being made in order for Microsoft to concentrate its Asian R&D efforts in Beijing, China.
AsiaOne.com reports that 21 people in the South Korea office will be affected by the shutdown. However, none of them will be asked to join the China-based offices. 10 of those workers have received offers to work in Microsoft's headquarters in Redmond, Washington while the other 11 workers may be asked to work in other departments in Seoul.
The R&D office in Korea created the local versions of Microsoft software products like Windows and Office until the year 2000, when Microsoft's main Redmond office developed the language packs for software. Since then the Seoul R&D office has worked on a number of tasks related to supporting other Korean-based businesses with technology.
Microsoft is apparently consolidating its R&D efforts around six locations across the globe: Redmond, Beijing, Cambridge, Bangalore, Silicon Valley and New England.
Update: Microsoft sent over a statement about the story:
The phrase R&D has been misinterpreted and Microsoft’s R&D is not moving from South Korea. Last month, after evaluations that the company regularly does, Microsoft made adjustments to its Office workforce in South Korea. With work completed in a particular product area, some roles have been redeployed to Office in their Redmond headquarters, consolidating with the Office team there. Some roles moved to other areas within Microsoft. Some employees chose to accept severance packages and leave the company. None of this, however, involved positions in R&D or Microsoft Research or China.
Source: AsiaOne.com | Image via Microsoft