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Microsoft workers in China protest mass layoffs at Nokia division

Two weeks ago, Microsoft announced the biggest layoffs in its history, with 18,000 jobs being cut from its worldwide workforce. More than two-thirds of those layoffs - around 12,500 in total - will affect staff at its Nokia division, which Microsoft acquired earlier this year. 

The extent to which the cuts will affect former Nokia employees has proven to be a particularly contentious issue. Finland's Finance Minister, Antti Rinne, spoke of disappointment in Microsoft after the announcement, but employees themselves are now expressing their own dissatisfaction with protests against the layoffs. 

As Reuters reports, hundreds of staff at a Nokia research facility and factory in Beijing, China held a protest today, waving banners and shouting slogans for five hours until "they had sore throats", according to one of the employees present at the demonstration. The worker described the protest as standing against "Microsoft's hostile takeover and violent layoffs". 

The protesters are reportedly planning to present a series of 'demands' to Microsoft, although it is currently unclear exactly what the employees will ask of the company. 

Meanwhile, Microsoft is facing further problems in China of a very different nature. Earlier this week, Microsoft offices in four cities across China were raided by authorities as part of a government investigation, reportedly related to "unfair trade" concerns

Source: Reuters

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