Adding to China’s reputation as the newest of the tech hot spots around the globe, Microsoft recently announced that it plans to add over 1,000 employees to its China operation in its mobile development division. The wireless marketplace in China is hotly contested between the two technology giants Apple and Google, with Google’s Android platform currently holding 83 percent of the market share in China and Apple trailing at 6 percent. Microsoft aims to change that paradigm by attracting customers to its Windows 8 platform and competing toe-to-toe with these major players in the electronics and wireless Internet marketplace. Microsoft’s CEO for operations in China, Ralph Haupter, commented, “We feel ready to attack and have different offers to basically change the game plan.”
Microsoft also plans to increase its focus on cloud computing services in the Chinese market in the coming months. The computing giant already employs upwards of 4,500 workers in China in marketing, research and development and customer service jobs and will expand each of these fields when it begins hiring later this year. Microsoft announced that it will also increase spending for research and development in China by 15 percent in order to gain a foothold for its Windows 8 platform and mobile browser in this established market.
The demand for mobile technology and cutting-edge wireless applications is increasing rapidly in China as more consumers connect with these portable communications devices. This expanding market has attracted a number of technology firms to the Chinese marketplace. Other corporations choose to manufacture in China to take advantage of the highly skilled workforce and reduced costs of manufacture available in the country. The pro-business stance of the Chinese government and the lower cost of living make China an attractive proposition for many companies looking to expand into the global marketplace.
As both Apple and Samsung can attest, however, doing business in China is not without its risks. The Chinese legal system differs significantly from that found in the U.S. Manufacturers and retailers must take steps to remain in compliance with both sets of laws in order to ensure their legal position in this challenging business environment. Expert China law firms can provide the guidance and counsel necessary to protect corporate rights and to remain in compliance with applicable regulations. Contract-based employment statutes and first-to-file intellectual property rights are among some of the most common legal challenges for U.S. businesses in China. Companies that fail to protect their corporate interests effectively in this expanding marketplace can be liable for significant financial penalties, both in lost trademarks and patents and in labor practices litigation. By retaining the services of legal experts in the Chinese business environment, companies can take advantage of the opportunities available in this challenging business environment.