Microsoft said on Wednesday that it will dole out $700 million to purchase Chinese computer hardware over the next half-decade, and the company also pledged to invest $200 million in the country’s software firms, The Wall Street Journal reports.
Redmond, Wash.-based Microsoft, the world’s leading producer of software, inked a memorandum of understanding with the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) to form joint ventures and alliances with Chinese software companies, according to The Journal. The company also plans to open a software development center along with NDRC, The Journal reports.
The news comes on the heels of Chinese President Hu Jintao’s recent visit to Microsoft Chief Software Architect Bill Gates’ home. China also recently said that it will require all PC makers to ship computers with preinstalled operating systems, a move meant to cut down on the rampant software piracy that plagues the country.
“We applaud China’s effort to strengthen intellectual property rights protection, which will help lay a solid foundation for the sustainable development of China’s information technology industry,” Gates said in a statement, according to The Journal.
Microsoft and NDRC signed a similar agreement in 2002, under which Microsoft pledged $750 million to be spent on products from China, further domestic investment and training initiatives in the country, The Journal reports.
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