back to article Microsoft offers China-based engineers an option to relocate

Microsoft is said to have offered up to 800 China-based employees the chance to relocate to the US, Australia, New Zealand, or Ireland. That's according to the Wall Street Journal, which claims the offer stands until early June, adding that it was extended primarily to Chinese employees with experience in machine learning and …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It would be utterly hilarious if Windows of all things were to end up in the middle of the trade war.

    No, Linux is not a viable alternative to Windows for an entire country. Linux is definitely improving, but a country without Windows would be devastating to it's existing infrastructure and how it integrates with the infrastructure of other country's technology. It's no doubt why Microsoft had their hand forced to not support any Russian customers. And Russia isn't even a country known for it's IT, can you imagine the effects that would have on China?

    I can already see the writing on the wall with all this trade war stuff, China is failing (both for internal and external reasons) and is going to become North Korea 2, they'll be "self-sufficient" and by that I mean living in huts with technology that was outdated 20 years ago. But hey, at least they have their own government-sanctioned Linux distro!

    1. heyrick Silver badge

      Meanwhile the rest of the world watches and takes note of how their own infrastructure depends on closed technology from somewhere that isn't always going to be acting in their best interests.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Sucks to suck buddy usa is the the best in the world China had free shipping for years we paid billions in alibona and tencent China though it was a competition now the f22 is Roaring over head the island country's all around hate you and are begging us to build basses

        I'd feel bad for the Chinese kids born with no brothers no sisters about to die for there country and have no direct airs so sad to see the great expariment of China see an end

        Better Chinese die the Mongolian or Tibetan

        1. gandalfcn Silver badge

          Time to lay off the hallucinogens buddy.

    2. DS999 Silver badge

      China is far too big

      To become isolated like North Korea, no matter how repressive their government gets. There may be more trade barriers but they can't be cut off like North Korea is - which could not survive if not for the limited trade they have with China and Russia.

      China has their fingers in a lot of countries around the world through the "belt and road" initiatives, and they have a lot more that non-western aligned countries around the world might want. i.e. countries like Cuba or Venezuela might have no qualms against trade with North Korea, but North Korea has nothing they want. The same is not true of China.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: China is far too big

        Oh absolutely. I certainly don't mean China will become North Korea imminently, but, it's prospects are all doomed to failure. Every Belt and Road initiative only drains the target country of it's resources and doesn't provide any form of growth or independence whatsoever, so they're acting more like a parasite than a foster. The countries they're targeting cannot meaningfully give back to them or ever grow enough to become a significant source of trade, to them or anyone else. And of course, at the end of the day, China has no internal independence or structure in and of itself, it was a starving country not unlike India is now (even worse) before the west started outsourcing cheap labor from them. Now they suddenly think they own the lot, like a spoilt teenager who thinks that just because their parents pampered them when they were in diapers that they're the boss of the house. And now manufacturing is leaving them, they're left alone to rot with their own economy built entirely on ponzi schemes, they're alone and afraid and have no idea what to do as an independent country because the last time they were an "independent" country, they were starving. The only thing they had was cheap labor, now they lost that because the quality of living has increased, but not because of their own success, but just the success of others who have now since abandoned them.

        It's interesting because this same scenario is also a "nightmare scenario" for South Korea. South Korea is a very interesting microcosm of this very scenario. SK was a starving, rural country with no worth, until Samsung sprung up inside of it and become a global sensation. SK *is* Samsung, if Samsung ever left SK, they would be utterly doomed. It's kind of funny when you think about it in comparison to fictional stories like the Cyberpunk series. This is basically what's happening in China, on a grander scale. China was starving, companies went there for labor, China is no longer starving and wants more money, companies leave in droves (not helped by how China is practically scaring them out with law enforcement).

        This actually should be a scary wake-up call that global corporations are not only running the world, but decide which countries live or die. Local business isn't just about ensuring evil nations don't grow, it's about ensuring the very mechanism by which evil nations grow do not continue to foster these horrible countries.

        1. heyrick Silver badge

          Re: China is far too big

          "doesn't provide any form of growth or independence whatsoever"

          It's worth pointing out that China might be "the enemy", but it is also earth's warehouse.

          If they decided tomorrow to embargo all exports to the west, they'd tank their economy certainly, but they'd likely wipe ours out faster.

          1. martinusher Silver badge

            Re: China is far too big

            Their internal economy is vast -- we think they're a bunch of primitives working under slave labor conditions so they have to sell us their stuff cheaply to survive but the reality is very different. This internal economy plus access to raw materials and markets through their neighbors -- the Russians -- give them a global reach which is impossible for western countries to interfere with. They have been playing catch up with the west -- the old imperial powers -- because they made a number of missteps in the 18th and 19th centuries, completely misjudging the importance of industrialization. The result is what they call "the century of humiliation"; it set them back but it still didn't destroy them. Now they're back.......big time. We in the West can't seem to appreciate who they are and what they're capable of; we're spending a lot of our time, effort and resources trying to keep them down rather than learning from them.

            Remember, their original downfall was caused by hubris -- they were the world's #1 economic power, they had everything, they made the trading rules and so on. They've likely learned from the experience. I wish we'd do so before we go through our own version of the "century of humiliation".

            1. gandalfcn Silver badge

              Re: China is far too big

              "we think they're a bunch of primitives working under slave labor conditions" but the reality is that the PRC is very like the US socially, McCrap, malls, cars, wasted food etc., the difference being they have better education.

          2. Nifty

            Re: China is far too big

            "China... is also earth's warehouse"

            The West could first limp along without Chinese imports and then would develop a strong make do and mend/refurb economy. The reason we dump so much used stuff is because of those cheap imports.

            Now, I'm not sure how well China would do at refurbishing used food.

            1. gandalfcn Silver badge

              Re: China is far too big

              "The West could first limp along without Chinese imports and then would develop a strong make do and mend/refurb economy. " Meanwhile the PRC and India have taken over the rest of the world.

          3. gandalfcn Silver badge

            Re: China is far too big

            "If they decided" But reality dictates otherwise.

        2. doublelayer Silver badge

          Re: China is far too big

          "Every Belt and Road initiative only drains the target country of it's resources and doesn't provide any form of growth or independence whatsoever, so they're acting more like a parasite than a foster."

          That's kind of the goal. Build something useful, get good terms on the loans, and then when the country is unable to pay back the loans, you have leverage to make requests. Forgive the loans and you may be able to set up some more infrastructure there, for instance. A lot of countries are willing to spend to get things like that. When the US wants a military base in another country, they usually don't expect that to return a profit and are willing to spend to get it. Many of China's international ventures accomplish similar goals and aren't that much more expensive. Of course, it also makes it easier for China to import whatever they might want from that country, so there is a small boost to the other countries from export industries.

          China has a lot of problems, but it has a government that is in a position to ignore many classes of problems that democratic countries can't ignore and the size to absorb many negative events. It also has many assets it can use to advance. I think you may be counting them out too quickly.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: China is far too big

            When the US wants a military base in another country, they usually don't expect that to return a profit and are willing to spend to get it. Many of China's international ventures accomplish similar goals and aren't that much more expensive.

            QED

            How China Got Sri Lanka to Cough Up a Port

            https://www.nytimes.com/2018/06/25/world/asia/china-sri-lanka-port.html

            “John Adams said infamously that a way to subjugate a country is through either the sword or debt. China has chosen the latter,” said Brahma Chellaney, an analyst who often advises the Indian government and is affiliated with the Center for Policy Research, a think tank in New Delhi.

            There is also an "International Airport", about 20 miles away - built with Chinese money yet again, - Convenient for the Chinese military if they ever needed to secure the port.

            Colombo Port City: A new Dubai or a Chinese enclave?

            https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-59993386

            Sri Lanka has been well and truly stuffed on the debt repayments

            1. gandalfcn Silver badge

              Re: China is far too big

              Said Brahma Chellaney, a spokesman for vehemently anti-PRC New Delhi.

              FTFY.

          2. gandalfcn Silver badge

            Re: China is far too big

            "That's kind of the goal." Erm, no, that was the imperial powers. The PRC will of course encounter loan defaults but that means a failure not a success. Having a bankrupt trading partner means no trade.

        3. gandalfcn Silver badge

          Re: China is far too big

          Does your shrink know you're posting bovine on-line?

          Is it some form of therapy?

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Disagree.

      China does one thing well: it educates its people, and so ensures a future. That education is not always by choice, but they're not so scientifically backward as you seem think. Worse is that their government, for all its faults, has by its very structure a long term perspective whereas 'our' political choices are mostly marked by short termism and personal profit, and that means that in long term planning it has an edge for, for instance, capitalisation of research or long term investment (they tried letting it happen uncontrolled and that pretty much took down the housing market so I don't think that's going to happen again any time soon).

      Add to that that China since long controls most of the resources needed for the idiotic idea of going electric only (using a solution before fully working through the problem as there are more options) and I don't think the US can squeeze too hard or it may face China demonstrating how much it has the US by the cojones by doing most of their manufacturing for them (and no, that isn't going to change much - for a start, wages alone have too much an impact on economic decisions) and the raw materials to do it with - heck, there are some rare earth minerals for which only China even has the facility to process and separate them, exclusively so. It once demonstrated briefly to Trump what power it has when Trump accused them of controlling their currency to their own benefit only - they let it float for a day and so temporarily ripped some 800+ points of the Dow Jones before they resumed control.

      I don't agree with a lot of what China does. But I'm not as blind to reality as our politicians want us to be - the economics don't stack up.

      1. gandalfcn Silver badge

        Upvote, but wtf does "the idiotic idea of going electric only" mean?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          There are a number of solutions in the pipeline, some of which do not require us to dump existing vehicles (for which the CO2 and manufacturing costs - including environmental - have already been sunk). Mandating everything goes electric (with China holding most of the raw materials required for it) before we fully defined what could be done has too much the smell of a hidden agenda. For instance, governments make out like bandits from fossil fuel sales - most of what you pay for your fuel is tax. As you cannot distinguish charging power from house power, how are they going to tax you in the future? JBC has already shown what it can do with hydrogen, but because we're so focused on batteries we have abandoned the quest for better H2 generation (that's just one example of much research that has been almost abandoned if it wasn't for some stubborn holdouts like Toyota).

          There's no way the people in government will accept having less money to waste on buying votes and vanity projects (in the UK, for instance, spending a fortune on sending people back to Rwanda whereas the NHS could do much more with that money, but I digress).

          That said, signs of that agenda are already becoming visible. There is an EU mandate that every new car must transmit when it's exceeding a speed limit (which any GPS user knows to be something that pretty much every map gets wrong on many occasions), a black box has been mandatory for years and position data is also easy to obtain - Europe is finally giving up the pretense that it's protection of privacy was for the benefit of citizens, because then it would not be turning vehicles into modern spy gear. No, privacy is merely used for political leverage over the US. Not that I think that isn't needed, but I'm fed up with the pretense and BS.

          1. Ali Dodd
            Mushroom

            Hydorgen for anything like the solutions electricity is good for is a leaky pipe dream

            Hydrogen to replace natural gas will not work as it leaks from everything. The space programme can't solve their issues with it leaking how in earth will terrestrial distribution?

            Hydrogen is also less efficient by a considerable margin and is it exceedingly unlikely to ever have party with charging technologies - mainly due to conservation of energy.

            Hydrogen production I'm sure can be improved, but again why spend energy creating it from water to just turn it back into water, CoE again losses. From Methane it's never going to be efficient or not have CO2 issues.

            Hydrogen is fundamentally not the most common solution, might do a fraction but still it's difficult to work with & harder to store.

    4. gandalfcn Silver badge

      "I can already see the writing on the wall with all this trade war stuff, China is failing (both for internal and external reasons) and is going to become North Korea 2"

      That's the most out of touch with reality, tinfoil hat stuff I've read since my last visit to flat earth site or Answers in Genesis.

  2. Bebu Silver badge
    Windows

    "Microsoft can continue doing business in both the US and in China"

    If I recall Herodotus correctly this was called medism.

    Things didn't always work out for medizing states or individuals. :)

    A sense of: run with the hare and hunt with the hounds perhaps?

    1. gandalfcn Silver badge

      Re: "Microsoft can continue doing business in both the US and in China"

      Actually its called international trade.

  3. Hubert Cumberdale Silver badge

    Oh, it's China that uses Bing voluntarily, then. I always wondered.

    1. Hubert Cumberdale Silver badge

      Oh, hello Microsoft – nice to see you on these forums.

  4. elsergiovolador Silver badge

    Housing

    Imagine those countries need more competition for housing and services.

    But since it's a big corporation, they can dump people into the country and everyone else suffers, but hey AI!

    Is that an admission that Teams are **ite and can't support remote working?

    1. elsergiovolador Silver badge

      Re: Housing

      Why downvotes?

      Do you like big corporations making more profit at your expense?

      If more people compete for the same resources, are these resources going to be cheaper or more expensive?

      Here in the UK we don't have enough housing for existing population, so what happens if big corporations drop few more thousands of people into the mix?

      Supply and demand.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Housing

      I don't think you got the news tictok is gone Biden is out to fuck China and I'm here for it buddy get um

  5. nematoad Silver badge

    Two worries.

    There are two things that worry me about Microsoft's offer.

    One, the fact that the CCP is almost certain to have sleepers installed in Microsoft's Chinese workforce, and will be delighted to have them spread across the globe to widen their potential for espionage.

    Two, the fact that from the article it looks like MS is unilaterally offering its Chinese based employees jobs in other countries. What if said countries don't want these people to emigrate? I know that there are rumblings of discontent in Ireland about the numbers moving there from abroad and I'm not sure a potential Trump administration or the Australians would be too keen either.

    Yes, I may be getting paranoid in my old age, but with China's more assertive stance these days it might be prudent to be cautious.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Two worries.

      "Unfortunately our government is insisting that we revoke CCP remote access to it's email. In future you will need to be on our premises to conduct espionage. We apologise for any inconvenience."

    2. Jason Hindle

      Re: Two worries.

      "Two, the fact that from the article it looks like MS is unilaterally offering its Chinese based employees jobs in other countries. What if said countries don't want these people to emigrate?"

      If Microsoft is making these offers, the immigration side is simply a done deal. New Zealand and Australia already take in plenty of skilled people from China.

      1. elsergiovolador Silver badge

        Re: Two worries.

        Probably a matter of taking an official to a dinner or inviting to an event. Maybe showing some holiday destinations or apprenticeship placings for close family members etc. etc. etc.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Two worries.

      Two, the fact that from the article it looks like MS is unilaterally offering its Chinese based employees jobs in other countries

      Before you go too far off the deep end, international rotation is actually a standard part of some Microsoft functions. It only creates a lot of noise now because it involves China, but it's a perk for some MS employees the world over.

      Now I would be the first to distrust anything a China daily says but in this case it's actually fairly accurate.

  6. CowHorseFrog Silver badge

    How exactly does Microsoft guarantee they can get into any of those countries ?

    How can they "give" relocation if they dont control or own the immigration proces of any of those countries ?

    1. Vic Not 20

      It's relatively straightforward to get highly-paid skilled workers into the countries they are targeting. It's not Microsoft that guarantee that, but the governments of those countries.

      1. CowHorseFrog Silver badge

        I appreciate that im just pointing out the text doesnt actually say that it says something quite different.

        You cant give what is not yours. THe text should be saying MS will help highly skilled workers because of gov programs, it shouldnt say MS is giving anything in that regard.

        1. SVD_NL Silver badge

          Microsoft is offering them the option. It's literally a job offer.

          Refusal is uncommon, but this offer is always on the condition that a work visum (or whatever is neccesary in the relevant country) is granted.

          The government is not offering the employees a job, MS is. The governments have programs in place that allow MS to make these offers with more certainty.

  7. Tron Silver badge

    Hmmm.

    Quote: Congress previously criticising the Redmond-based tech firm for censoring Bing in China.

    Would they be the same politicians who would like to see abortion information censored from citizens living in states where they have banned it?

    You obey local rules - something American politicians expect people to do when they are in America.

    Unless you are a politician. Then you just pardon people that shoot protesters and fly across borders/party during lockdown.

    Not just the right wingers either. US Democrats were very supportive of HK protesters until Trump's supporters emulated them. Then it was a coup attempt and very, very bad.

    Never trust a politician.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Yeah ok

    Bring them to Wisconsin the oshkosh Appleton area has a huge Asian population

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