Microsoft plans to hire more than a thousand people in China this year, adding to its current workforce of about 4,500 in that country — a move that comes amid increasing competitiveness in the mobile Internet space there, according to The Associated Press.
Microsoft is also planning to increase research and development spending by 15 percent there as it tries to catch up with Apple and Google, the AP reported, citing Microsoft executives. Microsoft also plans to focus more on developing mobile apps specifically for the China market.
The mobile market in China is currently dominated by Android and by the iPhone on the high end.
In China, according to the AP article:
Nearly 400 million people surf the Web using mobile phones and other devices. Microsoft is promoting its Windows 8 mobile operating system but came late to the market and trails Apple Inc. and Google Inc., whose Android system is widely used in China.
“We respect that we have two players in the market which have a strong role, and we feel ready to attack and have different offers to basically change the game plan on that one,” said Microsoft’s CEO for China, Ralph Haupter, at a news conference. …
China had 538 million people online at the end of July, up 11 percent from a year earlier, according to the China Internet Network Information Center, an industry group. The share that uses wireless devices grew twice as fast, rising 22 percent to 388 million, or 70 percent of the total.