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Microsoft Breaks Ground on $280M Beijing R&D Center

Microsoft broke ground Tuesday for a new research and development center in Beijing that will house the company's growing Chinese operations.

Estimated to cost US$280 million, the Microsoft China R&D Campus is scheduled for completion in 2010. The new campus includes two large buildings equipped with environmentally friendly features, such as solar water heaters and sensors that turn off the lights when a room is not in use, the company said.

The Microsoft China Research and Development Group is one of the company's main R&D operations, employing 1,500 researchers in Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen, a city in southern China. The company eventually plans to increases the number of researchers in China to 3,000, many of which will be housed in the new Beijing R&D center.

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