Gloomy Global Tech Sector Gets Boost From China

SHANGHAI (Reuters) - China shone a rare ray of hope on the gloom-laded global technology industry on Friday when tech giants Microsoft and Hewlett-Packard (HP) revealed plans to create almost 2,000 jobs in the country.

The axe has swung on about 140,000 tech jobs around the world this year as a sickly global economy has compounded brutal price competition, forcing firms to find ways to slash costs.

But the huge potential of China's domestic market -- not to mention its low cost base -- attracted both HP and Microsoft, which unveiled plans to expand their software operations during a high-profile international business conference in Shanghai.

"We continue to increase our resources here in China," Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates told a news conference after the world's dominant software firm said it would create 300 new jobs at its Shanghai technical center and set up a new joint venture.

"I'm very pleased with how Microsoft China is developing... our commitment to the market and our confidence in the market is clearer today than it's ever been," he said.

"The market's going to grow, has shown nice growth every year, but it's really based on the 10-year picture that explains a lot of our attention (to China)," Gates added.

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