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, on Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2022. Nadella delivered a keynote speech at an event hosted by the company’s Korean division. Photographer: SeongJoon Cho/Bloomberg via Getty Images

SeongJoon Cho | Bloomberg | Getty Images

The executive director of Microsoft says he is bullish on Asia, particularly China and India, as Microsoft plans to build more data centers around the world.

“Absolutely. We’re very, very bullish on what’s happening in Asia,” Satya Nadella, Microsoft’s chairman and CEO, told CNBC’s Tanveer 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 mainly work to support multinational companies that operate in China and multinational companies outside of China.”

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

“Microsoft’s presence in India was mostly related to multinational companies operating in India. But for now, that is completely changed,” he said.

“It’s the other way around when 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 so we can innovate and create services that are obviously popular in India and elsewhere,” he told CNBC.

Microsoft earlier told India’s Economic Times that there is a huge demand in developing new native cloud applications in India.

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Like US tech giants are facing mass layoffsNadella said he is optimistic about the job market there.

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

“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 problems. “So everyone has to manage costs and demand properly,” he said.

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

“I’m much more focused on watching what happens in terms of new growth in the United States. So I’m very, very optimistic about the U.S. and the world.”

Nadella replaced billionaire Steve Ballmer as Microsoft’s 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. Shares are down 27.8% year-to-date.

“This is a developing story.” Please check back for updates.

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