Chinese search engine Baidu hires Microsoft China’s top executive.
Microsoft China lost its top executive Zhang Yaqin, the company’s corporate vice president, to the Chinese search giant Baidu, in the face of current setbacks in the country. Yaqin also served as the chairman of the Asian-Pacific research and development group in Microsoft and now will be president of Baidu’s business.
This is a big blow to Microsoft as Zhang was instrumental in building the company’s biggest technology research operation outside of the US, especially in China.
Baidu has been on a hiring spree as far as high-profile talent is concerned. It hired Andrew Ng in may 2014, former head of Stanford University’s artificial intelligence lab, to head its new R&D center in Sillicon Valley.
Zhang’s acquisition is crucial for Baidu and well-timed, considering that the company is strongly competing with Alibaba Group Holding and Tencent Holdings. His proficient understanding and implementation of technologies such as cloud computing will certainly aid the Chinese company in expansion beyond online search.
Currently, Microsoft is undergoing an investigation by the State Administration for Industry and Commerce in China under the antimonopoly laws — particularly for the Windows operating system and Office software. The company has agreed to cooperate with the government till the investigation is complete.
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