Sunday, May 28, 2023

Microsoft appoints for secret, ‘revolutionary’ real estate project in China

Microsoft is quietly doubling down on its controversial presence in China as it hires employees for a major real estate project that the company is advertising to locals as “revolutionary”, the Post has learned.

The tech giant, co-founded by Bill Gates and Paul Allen, is looking to hire employees to join a “large global team” in Suzhou that focuses on helping people find their “dream houses.” Small job postings seen by the post show.

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

Despite ambitious promises from Chinese job seekers, Microsoft has not published any press releases about its new real estate ambitions and has not responded to repeated requests for comment from the Post.

The listings, which are for software engineering and management roles, are for a team role called “Bing Rentals”. They indicate that the company may be building a rental listing app to compete with the likes of Zillow and

“By leveraging the great eco-system Microsoft is building like feeds, search engines, browsers and apps, this investment has great growth opportunities and will empower people in need of rental to find their dream home efficiently ,” the job posting read.

Microsoft says it is “changing the real estate industry to a revolutionary state where all rental operations are done completely online.”

The current hiring push underscores that Microsoft already has a much larger presence in China than other US tech firms — and has determined that cooperating with the Chinese government is a reasonable cost of doing business in the country. .

history of censorship

While other Big Tech firms, including Google and Meta, have been effectively banned from China, Microsoft has had a sizable presence in the country since entering the market in 1992.

For example, Microsoft has run a version of its Bing search engine in China since 2009 and often censors results at the request of the government.

According to the company’s transparency report, from July to December 2021, Microsoft removed more than 1,100 online content at the request of the Chinese government.

Meanwhile, Google used to run a version of its search engine in China, which withheld results but pulled the product in 2010, writing that “we have decided we are no longer willing to continue censoring our results.” ”

Google later considered relaunching a censored search engine in China, but abandoned those plans in 2018, when they were reported by The Intercept, prompting a political backlash in the US.

In another example of Microsoft’s compliance with Chinese censorship, the company’s career site LinkedIn repeatedly complied with government orders to remove posts from academics, journalists and other users since Microsoft bought the site in 2016 was investigating.

Microsoft suzhou
Microsoft is looking to hire employees at its suzhou, china office to join a “large global team” that focuses on real estate software.
Wei-Huawei / Wikimedia Commons

In October, Microsoft said it would shut down the Chinese version of LinkedIn, citing “greater compliance requirements in China.” The company later launched a new job-seeker product in China called InJobs, which is designed to reduce controversy because it doesn’t include a social feed or the ability to share posts or articles.

‘We keep investing in China’

Although Microsoft did not respond to repeated requests for comment, the company’s then-China chief, Alain Crozier, gave an exclusive interview to Chinese state propaganda outlet China Daily in December 2020, where he outlined the company’s ambitions in the country.

At the time, Crozier said that Microsoft employed 8,000 people in China and wanted to increase its workforce in the country to 10,000 by June 2022.

“About 90% of the new positions will be engineers and research and development staff members,” said Crozier, who left his role as China’s premier in February 2021. “We keep investing in China for many reasons, including quality. The need for people and for us is to support our customers and partners on innovation.”

Ellen crozier
Microsoft’s then-china chief alain crozier said in 2020 that the company wants to have 10,000 employees in the country by june 2022.
Getty Images

But Microsoft’s decision to leave Crozier and end the Chinese version of LinkedIn last year has done little to slow the company’s growth in China.

Microsoft’s careers site displays 759 open roles in China, mostly for software engineers.

The real estate job listing was first spotted by Chinese tech site Ping West, but was not previously reported in US media.

capitol hill jockeying

Microsoft’s Chinese expansion comes as the company maintains a relatively high position on Capitol Hill.

Even though Microsoft has a market capitalization of $2 trillion that makes the company nearly as valuable as Google and Meta, many lawmakers who regularly rail against Big Tech, Microsoft’s “Call of Duty” developer Activision. K has been apparently silent about the $69 billion acquisition.

This may be because Microsoft President Brad Smith has positioned himself as an ally of lawmakers as he takes on other Big Tech companies, arguing that tech firms have to fight tooth and nail against all regulations. should instead work with Congress to frame the rules.

Microsoft has 759 open roles in china.
Wei-Huawei / Wikimedia Commons

“They have flown well under the radar,” said Paul Rosenzweig, cybersecurity consultant and former deputy assistant secretary of homeland security, adding that the company has yet to “pick a flag” between the US and China. has been done.

In another move that has angered Microsoft’s rivals, the company has publicly backed bills in Australia and Europe that require Google to pay publishers for news content, which led to Google in 2021. Accused Microsoft of being “ready to break the way the open web works”. To take down an opponent. ,

Meta and Google have also sought to portray the antitrust bills as national security risks, claiming that the anti-Big Tech legislation could boost China by undermining America’s competitiveness.

Brad smith
Microsoft president brad smith has a far better position with anti-big tech lawmakers than mark zuckerberg or tim cook.
Getty Images

Another strange aspect of Microsoft’s presence in China is that the company itself has been a victim of Chinese hackers.

Last summer, Microsoft and the US and UK governments blamed hackers affiliated with the Chinese Ministry of State Security for breaching Microsoft’s Exchange email service, stealing emails from thousands of accounts linked to businesses, government offices and schools around the world.

Yet the company’s current real estate push shows that even being hacked by the Chinese government isn’t enough to kick Microsoft out of the country.

Rosenzweig said Microsoft is a large contractor to the US government, which could make US regulators less likely to downplay concerns about the company’s larger operations in China — even though he argues it poses a legitimate national security risk. Is.

“Dependency kind of silences you,” Rosenzweig said of the US government.

World Nation News Desk
World Nation News Desk
World Nation News is a digital news portal website. Which provides important and latest breaking news updates to our audience in an effective and efficient ways, like world’s top stories, entertainment, sports, technology and much more news.
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