Microsoft offers transfer options to china-based employees amid US-china tensions.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Microsoft has approached approximately 700 to 800 employees in its China-based cloud-computing and artificial-intelligence divisions, urging them to consider relocating outside the country.

Most of these employees, primarily engineers holding Chinese nationality, have been presented with the option to transfer to countries such as the U.S., Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand, as per sources familiar with the situation.

This move occurs against the backdrop of escalating tensions between the U.S. and China, with the Biden administration intensifying scrutiny on various sectors of Chinese imports, including electric vehicle batteries, computer chips, and medical products.

A spokesperson from Microsoft informed the Journal that offering internal opportunities aligns with the company’s global business strategy, confirming the provision of an optional internal transfer opportunity to a subset of employees.

Earlier this month, Reuters reported that the U.S. Commerce Department is contemplating new regulations to restrict the export of proprietary or closed source AI models, whose software and training data are proprietary.

Despite these developments, the spokesperson assured the newspaper of Microsoft’s ongoing commitment to the region, affirming the company’s intention to maintain operations in China.

As of now, Microsoft has not responded to Reuters’ request for comment on the matter.