BEIJING (AP) -- Microsoft Corp. said Thursday it has signed an agreement to invest $750 million in China. The money will go toward education and training, manufacturing and strategic investments in software companies in China, the company said.
The Redmond, Wash., company signed a memorandum of understanding with China's top economic-planning body, the State Development Planning Commission, promising to form a committee to review and discuss Microsoft's investment strategy.
Microsoft has begun to increase its investments in China through joint ventures and licensing arrangements. The signing ceremony was timed to coincide with a visit to China by Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer. Microsoft chairman Bill Gates and State Development Planning Minister Zeng Peiyan are to co-chair the new group, to be called the SDPC-Microsoft Cooperation Committee.
As part of the 3-year investment strategy, Microsoft said $25 million will be spent on education and research institutes to aid the development of basic research and computer science education.
Another $500,000 will be used to establish the Shanghai Jiaotong University Software College and an affiliated education technical services company. Microsoft said it also will provide teacher training, teaching materials and internship opportunities for students at the college.
Zeng said the Microsoft agreement will encourage the export of Chinese information-technology products and bring the country advanced technology and management expertise.
"This won't only benefit the Chinese economy, but also promote the development of the Chinese software industry," he said in the statement.
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