Senior Chinese executive of Microsoft calls it quit amid China-US tech rivalry

Source:Global Times Published: 2019/11/14 14:33:40

US software giant Microsoft Corp. (Microsoft) said Thursday that its greener cloud services can save customers up to 93 percent of energy and carbon efficiency than traditional computing.

 Harry Shum, executive vice president of the US tech giant Microsoft's artificial intelligence (AI) and research group is reportedly leaving office early next year. 

As one of the few remaining Chinese senior executives in US tech firms, his departure was noted by netizens as a demonstration of the escalating of China-US tech rivalry which has squeezed the space for Chinese scientists in the US tech arena.

Shum was born in China and has served Microsoft for 23 years since 1996. Though he will leave office next February, his title has already been transferred to an advisor to Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and company founder Bill Gates, news site reported on Wednesday, citing an internal announcement and officials of Microsoft.

"The change is effective immediately," said the report.

Shum's quit from Microsoft marks the departure of the last Chinese senior executive in a core management team of any US tech giant, Chinese netizens said. 

Microsoft China's official account on China's twitter-like social media platform Weibo confirmed the news, praising his contribution to Microsoft and science, saying that Shum was Microsoft's ambassador to China.

Chinese netizens on Weibo expressed their respect for his accomplishments and noted that the atmosphere of the US' science and tech field has changed. Many pointed out that senior executives who were born in China or have any kind of Chinese background have faced increasingly restricted promotion opportunities.

According to Microsoft, Shum joined Microsoft Research in 1996 as a researcher based in Redmond, Washington, and moved to Beijing in 1998 as one of the founding members of Microsoft Research China, which was later renamed Microsoft Research Asia.

With a doctorate degree in robotics from the School of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University, Shum is also an IEEE Fellow and an ACM Fellow for his contributions to computer vision and computer graphics, and was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in the US.

Shum was not the first Chinese-born senior executive who left Microsoft. Earlier in 2016, the firm's former executive vice president in charge of Microsoft's applications and services unit, Lu Qi, left the US tech giant after serving the company for nearly 10 years, according to media reports.


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