According to Reuters, Microsoft is setting up a research and development center in Shanghai for its MSN service. The Shanghai center will be the first outside of the United States and will cost about $20 million, the report estimates.
But while there were setbacks for Microsoft with online services in China, especially with the resignation of top executives who handled the Windows Live sector, an anonymous source told Reuters, “It’s a clear signal that Microsoft won’t give up its online MSN service in China even though it may have some problems in its local operations. Twenty million dollars is really small money to Bill Gates, but it’s important to notice that Microsoft has chosen Shanghai for its first overseas MSN R&D center.”
The new research and development center will develop Internet software and is based in Shanghai’s Zizhu Science Park, which also houses Intel Corp. The center also comes equipped with a technical support team for MSN Messenger.
Doug Crets, a Hong Kong-based analyst at Media Partners Asia said in a statement, “We’re seeing things being done in China that are often squelched or squandered in the U.S. or other western countries.” China is known to have a laid-back approach to intellectual property, which Crets believes may allow for further business and technology ventures.
“It’s like going back to the old fashioned ‘tinkering with the Web’ feeling here,” he adds.