Highlights gov't support of business cooperation
A number of partnership agreements were signed between Microsoft Corp and Chinese tech companies during Chinese President Xi Jinping's ongoing visit to the U.S., highlighting the Chinese government's encouragement of business cooperation in the IT sector, experts said Thursday. [Special coverage]
According to statements published on Microsoft's Chinese website on Thursday, the U.S. tech giant signed three deals with several Chinese companies on Wednesday during the annual U.S.-China Internet Industry Forum at the Microsoft campus in Redmond, Washington, involving cooperation over the localization of its Windows 10 operating system, search engine and cloud computing.
Microsoft said it would work with State-owned China Electronics Technology Group Corp (CETC) to explore ways to configure, deploy and maintain localized Windows 10 for Chinese users in specialized fields in government institutions and State-owned infrastructure enterprises.
As part of the cooperation, relevant CETC subsidiary companies will become members of the Microsoft Partner Network and receive training and certification from Microsoft for the Windows deployment, support and best practices, the statement said. The deal marks a new development after Chinese authorities prohibited government agencies from procuring computers loaded with Windows 8 last year.
Zhang Yi, CEO of Guangzhou-based iiMedia Research Group, said on Thursday that such a tie-up with a State-backed company would definitely give Microsoft access to government clients in the future.
In another high-profile tie-up, Microsoft will team up with Chinese search engine Baidu Inc to make baidu.com the default search engine and the homepage for Chinese users using the Microsoft Edge browser in the Windows 10 operating system. Also under the agreement, the two will work together to make it easier for uers to upgrade to Windows 10.
"It's a win-win deal. For Microsoft, it could facilitate downloads of Windows 10 in the world's leading Internet country," Zhang told the Global Times. "As for Baidu, being the default search engine in an operating system in the local market would give it more strength in the competition against Google if the latter gets back to the mainland market."
Also on Wednesday, Microsoft, Tsinghua Unigroup Ltd and 21Vianet Group Inc jointly announced that they would provide customized hybrid cloud solutions and services to Chinese customers, particularly State-owned enterprises.
In addition, Chinese phone producer Xiaomi announced on Tuesday that it would adopt Microsoft's Azure cloud computing program to support some services for its users.
"This set of deals may come as a surprise to many, but it appears to have been long prepared. Microsoft has faced up to the reality that in the Chinese Internet industry, local companies such as Baidu have not only developed market dominance, but are leading in technological innovation. Thus, a partnership strategy is the way to go in China's software industry," Klaus E. Meyer, professor witht the China Europe International Business School, told the Global Times on Thursday.