BEIJING (dpa) – A top Microsoft executive in China has left to work for Internet search giant Baidu, a spokesman said Monday, in another setback for the US-based firm’s China ambitions.
Zhang Yaqin was a vice president and led Microsoft’s Asia-Pacific research department.
“Zhang Yaqin will start as president for new business on September 10,” a Baidu spokesman said.
Microsoft has been under pressure from the government for months. Investigators have begun anti-trust proceedings against the company, and there is a ban on installing the Windows 8 operating system on official computers.
Microsoft has been struggling to generate more revenue from the use of its operating system in China, where it holds a dominant position, but only due to the large number of pirated copies.
A state-backed alliance of developers is planning to release a Chinese operating system later this year.
In May, Baidu tapped a senior manager from Microsoft rival Google to head its research centre in California.
The software market in China is growing fast, and was worth about three trillion yuan (nearly 500 billion dollars) in 2013, according to official figures.