Microsoft shutting down MSN China website

Microsoft will shut down its MSN China website next month to focus on products with more revenue potential.

“Microsoft is deeply committed to China, offering a range of products including Windows 10, cloud services to customers, and hosting the largest research and development centre outside of the US,” the company says, announcing the portal closure will take effect on June 7.

Microsoft’s main R&D centre for the Asia-Pacific region is in Beijing, and the company is building a special version of Windows 10 for use by Chinese government agencies, reports TechCrunch.

Microsoft is also intent on expanding its cloud computing and enterprise software business in China, announcing last month that it now has 65,000 corporate customers for Microsoft Azure, up from 50,000 about a year ago.

However, Microsoft Azure faces competing services from such companies as Alibaba, Amazon Web Services and Tencent.

MSN China launched 11 years ago as a joint venture between MSN (the division of Microsoft that runs internet services like Bing, Hotmail and Skype) and Shanghai Alliance Investment, offering mobile internet services.

Meanwhile, such MSN China features as a search engine, news articles, a microblogging platform and a messaging service have been supplanted by local players like Baidu, Sina Weibo and Tencent’s WeChat.

MSN Messenger, one of China’s most popular messaging services when MSN China opened, closed two years ago.

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