When I came over to Shanghai to be interviewed for my current role, the Microsoft offices were located in the swanky Grand Gateway Shopping tower in downtown Xujiahui.
I heard a rumour from a colleague that M$ was moving to a new campus on an industrial park south of the city but was assured by the hiring manager that this wouldn’t happen and my office would be in Grand Gateway.
Sure enough, 3 months later when I finally make it out to Shanghai from London Microsoft has moved to the new $100 million campus in Southern Minhang district.
It’s not as trendy as working downtown and there is nowhere to eat but the cafeteria. Employees are bussed in daily from 30 locations around greater Shanghai. Unlucky for me there was no shuttle bus where I lived to take me to work so I had a nightmare journey of taxis, subways and shuttle bus to get me to work – sometimes taking 2 hours. Needless to say, I hated my commute and considered leaving for that same reason.
But after a year and much nagging of the facilities team they eventually agreed to put a shuttle bus on my route. I suppose it helped that there were now some senior employees living in my compound that required transport.
Some more information about the Zizhu Technology Park – the location of Microsoft Campus…
There is a canteen managed by Sodexho serving local and western tastes as long as a minimart, gym, coffee shops etc.
We had an incident where some heavy wall tiles fell off above the barista seriously injuring her. All tiles were removed after that for safety.
There are games rooms on each floor with xBox, pool and table tennis tables. Massage chairs are also available but seem to be used more for sleeping than actual massage. Sleeping at your desk on the couches is considered OK in China. I guess it shows everybody how hard you work!
Some more tenants of Zizhu…
My good friend, Didier, is the IT Manager at the SanDisk factory a couple of blocks away. He was kind enough to give me a lift to work during those dark days before the shuttle bus. This is the main Sandisk factory where they manufacture for the likes of Apple, HTC and co. They are currently building another factory right next door. My repeated requests of a factory floor tour have been met with refusal due to top secrets!
Borg Warner are here, Yamaha as well as a very mysterious OMRON. It seems that nobody goes in or comes out of the OMRON plant. Weird. Sometimes I think that foreign companies have built these shell factories in China waiting for the time when they can bring them online. Perhaps they have been built as favours to the Chinese government to enter the Chinese market.
Coke has a huge plant and ExxonMobil have some very impressive looking offices that are empty.
Some Chinese firms are also here. Xinhua Control and a massive Solar Power factory whose entire building frontage is covered in solar panels.
Lastly, a couple more pictures of Wicresoft (?) across the road and the Digital Hub where Microsoft also has some staff.