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Microsoft innovation center planned in Yunnan

By Hu Yongqi and Guo Anfei in Kunming | China Daily | Updated: 2013-06-06 06:18

Software for languages used in South and Southeast Asian countries will be developed in the border province of Yunnan, according to a memorandum of understanding signed on Wednesday by the Yunnan provincial government and technology giant Microsoft Corp.

According to the MOU, Yunnan University and Microsoft will jointly establish the Yunnan Microsoft IT Academy.

The Microsoft Innovation Center is another joint project launched by Microsoft and two local information technology companies.

The two new institutions will help create a strong software industry in the region by training software engineers, according to the MOU.

The ceremony was considered another step to upgrade Yunnan's IT industry after the province signed a five-year cooperation plan with Microsoft in June 2012.

The Microsoft IT Academy and the Yunnan Microsoft Innovation Center will promote Yunnan's IT industry and help upgrade the province's industrial sector, said Qin Guangrong, Party chief of the province.

Yunnan, Southwest China's frontier to Southeast Asian and South Asian countries, has a unique advantage when it comes to training talent for languages such as Hindu, Vietnamese, Indonesian and Thai.

"The software will help Yunnan's ethnicities communicate with each other through cloud-based services, and apply that capability to help and grow economic ties with Southeast Asia and extending a helping hand to the world," said Orlando Ayala, chairman of emerging markets at Microsoft.

Ayala made the remarks at the MOU's signing ceremony.

"Technology is changing the way we live and the way we work," he said, adding that he shares a vision with Yunnan's top leaders to create a modern software industry for the province.

Yunnan has the vision and determination to make the province a better place for visitors, investors, dreamers and innovators, Ayala said.

"I am confident that Yunnan will leapfrog its competitors to be a powerhouse of innovation and continued growth," Ayala added.

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