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Microsoft hires 1,000 more workers in China

Contract-hunting software giant rewards Beijing for bootleg crackdown

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Microsoft will hire 1,000 extra employees in China over the next year, adding to the 4,500 it already has in the country.

The new staff will be added to the R&D, sales, marketing and services departments, Ralph Haupter CEO for Microsoft's Greater China business told reporters in Beijing.

The Windows maker is trying to get its foot in the door at government bodies, which are trying to eradicate freely available bootleg copies of the software giant's gear from their systems. The country - which has a population of 1.3 billion - has long had a reputation as a pirate haven, with an epidemic of ripped-off movies and software. But there's now a national plan in place to clean up that image when it comes to computer programs.

Microsoft's war on piracy has so far mainly been in the courts and prosecuting large scale offenders, but getting the Chinese administration onside opens up a lot of doors to new contracts in the country.

The new jobs will bring Microsoft's China operations close to the size of its empire in India, where 5,800 staff labour across its business units.

The company will boost R&D spending in China by 15 per cent, up from $500m annually, Ya-Qin Zhang, chairman of the Asia Pacific R&D group said. It will also build a large cloud computing centre in Shanghai that will employ about 600 people, he added. ®

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