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Microsoft to Build $280 million China R&D Centre

Microsoft broke ground on Tuesday on a $280 million research centre that is to become the software giant's largest research centre outside of the United States.

Microsoft plans to double the number of full-time Microsoft research employees to 3,000 by 2010, in addition to about 1,500 current project-based researchers in China, and the energy efficient campus will eventually be home to 5,000 employees.

"Through investments such as this, we are building on our capabilities as one of Microsoft's key global R&D centers," said Zhang Yaqin, the company's mainland China chairman.

Microsoft is growing rapidly in China and expects that shipments to the mainland of handsets loaded with its software will again double this fiscal year. Long-delayed third generation (3G) wireless services are expected to be launched later this year and could help boost demand.

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