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Will Baidu poach Microsoft China’s top man?

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The tech industry is rife with rumours that Zhang Yaqin, the man responsible for helping Microsoft biggest technology research operation outside of the US, will be named Baidu’s president for new business.

The Chinese search giant has not confirmed the move, but sources claimed to the South China Morning Post that Zhang will be announcing his resignation as Microsoft’s corporate vice president and the chairman of the Microsoft Asia Pacific Research and Development Group this week.

SCMP also reports that if the move is true, Zhang will help raise Baidu’s profile in an increasingly competitive Asian tech market.

Zhang’s departure will also be a solid blow to Microsoft, especially as the company is currently facing an anti-monopoly investigation. Sources claimed he was often the company’s go-to man in times of crisis, particularly within the Greater China operations.

Neither Zhang, Baidu or Microsoft has released an official comment. Stay tuned.

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