Microsoft Goes AI After Leaving China

Microsoft piracy in china

China’s reputation for lax enforcement of intellectual property laws has long been a concern for companies around the world, particularly those in the tech industry. Microsoft, a global powerhouse in software, has faced challenges in China due to rampant piracy of its products. This issue has not only impacted Microsoft but also other industries such as golf club manufacturers, music companies, and movie studios.

Despite efforts to crack down on piracy, the illegal software market in China was estimated to be worth nearly $9 billion in 2019, with a piracy rate of 77 percent. This has made it difficult for companies like Microsoft to compete in the Chinese market, where consumers are often unwilling to pay full price for software.

The search engine product of Microsoft, Bing, among its other brands did not also fare well in China. Since 2009 when it was launched, the sales ban on the consoles of video games in China resulted in Xbox being sold illegally.

In response to these challenges that went on for over a decade, Microsoft decided in 2020 to move production of its Surface line to northern Vietnam. Afterall, Microsoft had existing offices in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. This move not only helped the company address piracy issues but also positioned it to better serve the growing Southeast Asian market.

Three years after leaving China, Microsoft pioneered AI projects in the medical field. In 2023, according to, Microsoft Vietnam signed an MoU with VinBrain to expand AI-powered healthcare to patients worldwide. The company also partnered with Trusting Social for enhanced support services intending to bring AI-powered agents to enterprises, backed by Microsoft Cloud and AI technologies. It is the only AI-powered software in Southeast Asia approved by the FDA.

Today, in the year 2024, Microsoft is at the forefront of the AI revolution, showcasing its latest AI integration products and solutions at the “Leading the Era of AI” event. With offerings like Microsoft Azure AI, Dynamics 365 Copilot, and Security Copilot, Microsoft is empowering organizations in Vietnam and beyond to maximize the value of AI transformation.

As China’s reputation for intellectual property infringement continues to pose challenges for companies, Microsoft’s shift to Vietnam reflects a growing trend of companies seeking to protect their innovations and capitalize on emerging markets in Southeast Asia. By leading the era of AI and fostering innovation in new markets, Microsoft is setting the stage for continued success in an evolving global economy.

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