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Microsoft’s Satya Nadella is “very bullish” on Asia, China and India

Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft Corp., during the company’s Ignite Spotlight event in Seoul, South Korea, Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2022. Nadella delivered a keynote speech at an event hosted by the company’s Korean unit. Photographer: SeongJoon Cho/Bloomberg via Getty Images

SeongJoon Cho | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Managing Director i Microsoft says he is optimistic about Asia, especially China and India, as Microsoft plans to build more data centers around the world.

“Absolutely. We’re very, very positive about what’s happening in Asia,” Microsoft chairman and CEO Satya Nadella told CNBC’s Tanvir Gill in an interview Thursday, adding that Microsoft is investing in at least 11 regions.

“We are absolutely committed to all these countries and in China as well. Today, we work primarily to support multinationals operating in China and multinationals outside of China.”

He also added that India has been a “massive growth market” after emerging from the pandemic.

“Microsoft’s presence in India was mostly about multinationals operating in India. But for now, that has completely changed,” he said.

“It’s the other way around where these companies that are innovating in India, whether it’s the big big conglomerates or the new startups, they’re all using [artificial intelligence] cloud technology to be able to innovate and create services that are obviously popular in India and elsewhere,” he told CNBC.

Microsoft previously told the Indian media Economic Times that there is a huge demand for the development of new native cloud applications in India.

Technical layoffs

As US tech giants face mass layoffs, Nadella said he was optimistic about the labor market there.

In October, Microsoft announced a round of layoffs affecting less than 1% of its employees. Meanwhile, Meta is cutting 11,000 workers, while Snap is laying off more than 1,000 people.

“The current job markets are much more resilient,” Nadella said, adding that most companies from energy firms to banks and retailers need software engineers.

He added that no industry is immune to macroeconomic issues. “So everyone has to manage the cost and the demand properly,” he said.

“One of the fascinating things about the United States is the amount of capital being invested,” he said, adding that new industrial infrastructure such as fabrication facilities, power plants and battery factories are being built.

“I’m much more focused on observing where what happens in terms of new growth in the US. So I’m very, very optimistic about the US and the world.”

Nadella replaced billionaire Steve Ballmer as Microsoft CEO in 2014. Prior to that, Nadella was executive vice president of Microsoft’s cloud and enterprise group.

Microsoft shares were at $241.73 in after-hours trading. The shares have fallen 27.8% so far this year.

– This is a development story. Please check back for updates.

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