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Microsoft hires up in China for secretive, ‘revolutionary’ real estate project

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Microsoft is quietly doubling its controversial presence in China as it hires staff for major real estate projects that it advertises to locals as “revolutionary.” Learned.

Co-founded by Bill Gates and Paul Allen, the tech giant hires Suzhou staff to join a “big global team” focused on helping people find their “dream home.” I am aiming to do it.

“We are transforming the real estate industry into a revolutionary state where all leasing operations are done entirely online,” read more than 12 job listings from March.

Despite its ambitious commitment to Chinese job seekers, Microsoft has not released a press release on their new real estate ambitions and has not responded to repeated requests for comments from the post.

The list for software engineering and management roles is for a team role called “Bing Rentals”. They seem to indicate that the company may be building a rental property app to compete with Zillow, Realtor.com and others.

“By leveraging Microsoft’s excellent ecosystem of feeds, search engines, browsers, apps, etc., this investment offers significant growth opportunities for those in need of rental to make their dream home more efficient. You will be able to find it, “said the job listing.

“We are transforming the real estate industry into a revolutionary state where all rental tasks are done entirely online,” Microsoft said.

The current recruitment promotion emphasizes that Microsoft already has a much larger presence in China than most other American tech companies. He decided that cooperation with the Chinese government was a reasonable cost to do business in China.

Censorship history

While other big tech companies, including Google and Meta, are effectively locked out of China, Microsoft has made a big presence in China since it entered the market in 1992.

For example, Microsoft has been running a version of the Bing search engine in China since 2009, frequently censoring results at the request of the government.

According to the company, between July and December 2021, at the request of the Chinese government, Microsoft removed more than 1,100 online content. Transparency report..

Meanwhile, Google was running a version of the search engine in China, but withheld the results, but pulled the product in 2010 and wrote, “We decided we didn’t intend to continue censoring the results.” I am.

Google later considered resuming censored search engines in China, but abandoned their plans in 2018 after they were there. Reported by interceptCaused a political backlash in the United States.

In another example of Microsoft being censored in China, its carrier site LinkedIn has been ordered by the government to remove posts from scholars, journalists and other users since Microsoft purchased the site in 2016. I have followed repeatedly. Scrutiny From an activist.

Microsoft Suzhou
Microsoft is considering hiring staff in its Suzhou office in China to join a “large global team” focused on real estate software.
V-huawe / Wikimedia Commons

October, Microsoft Shut down the Chinese version of LinkedIn, Quotes “Greater Compliance Requirements in China”. The company later launched a new job-seeking product in China called InJobs. It doesn’t include the ability to share social feeds or posts or articles, so it seems to be designed to minimize controversy.

“We will continue to invest in China”

Microsoft did not respond to repeated requests for comment, but its then-Chinese chief Alan Crozier conducted an exclusive interview with the state of China. Propaganda Outlet China Daily In December 2020, he outlined the company’s ambitions in the country.

At the time, Microsoft had 8,000 employees in China and was aiming to increase its workforce by 10,000 in China by June 2022, Crozier said.

Crozier, who resigned from China’s chief in February 2021, said: “Approximately 90% of new positions are engineers and R & D staff. People and we need to support our customers and partners in innovation.”

Alan Crozier
In 2020, Microsoft’s then-chief of China, Alan Crozier, said the company would like to hire 10,000 employees in the country by June 2022.
Getty Images

However, Microsoft’s resignation from Crozier and Microsoft’s decision to discontinue the Chinese version of LinkedIn last year seemed to have had little slowdown on the company’s growth in China.

Microsoft’s career site lists 759 job openings in China, primarily for software engineers.

Real estate job listings First discovered It’s from the Chinese tech site Ping West, but it has never been reported in the US media.

Capitol Hill Jockey

Microsoft’s expansion in China begins with the company maintaining a relatively high position at Capitol Hill.

Microsoft’s market capitalization is $ 2 trillion, which is about the same value as Google and Meta combined, but many lawmakers who regularly oppose Big Tech are very quiet. Microsoft’s $ 69 billion acquisition Of “Call of Duty” developer Activision.

This may be because Microsoft President Brad Smith has established himself as an ally of legislators like any other big tech company.

Microsoft has 759 open roles in China.
V-huawe / Wikimedia Commons

“They flew well under the radar,” said Paul Rosenzweig, a cybersecurity consultant and former deputy assistant secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, who still “chooses a flag” between the United States and China. He added that he was not forced to do so.

In another move that offended Microsoft rivals, the company is back again. Publicly supported bill Australia and Europe are leading Google by requiring Google to pay for news content To sue In 2021, Microsoft said, “We are willing to break the open Web mechanics to beat our rivals.”

Meta and Google have also sought to describe the antitrust bill as a national security risk. Anti-Big Tech Act May Boost China By undermining America’s competitiveness.

Brad smith
Microsoft President Brad Smith is far superior to anti-Big Tech lawmakers over Mark Zuckerberg and Tim Cook.
Getty Images

Another annoying aspect of Microsoft’s presence in China is the fact that the company itself appears to have been a victim of Chinese hackers.

Last summer, Microsoft and the US and UK governments accused hackers of the Chinese National Security Ministry. Violates Microsoft’s Exchange email serviceSteals emails from thousands of accounts associated with businesses, government agencies, and schools around the world.

However, the company’s current real estate push shows that even if hacked by the Chinese government, it’s not enough to drive Microsoft out of the country.

Rosenzweig said Microsoft is a huge contractor to the U.S. government and could reduce the likelihood that U.S. regulators would raise concerns about the company’s large-scale operations in China.

“Dependencies make you a kind of silence,” Rosenzweig said of the US government.

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