Morgan Stanley is shifting more than 200 technology developers out of mainland China after the country tightened access to troves of data stored onshore, according to people familiar with the matter, reports Bloomberg. The employees, accounting for more than a third of Morgan Stanley’s technologists on the mainland, are primarily moving to Hong Kong and Singapore, one of the people said, asking not to be identified discussing private information. Most of the relocation has been completed, according to the person.
Morgan Stanley’s remaining staff on the mainland have started to build a stand-alone China system to comply with local regulations. The new infrastructure, which may cost hundreds of millions of dollars, will be incompatible with its legacy global platforms as the lender overhauls its Asia strategy of handling client records, the person said.
The moves are among the most significant by a Wall Street bank in response to a new law restricting the transmission of sensitive information out of China. Multinational companies across industries are being forced to reassess the way they operate in the world’s second-largest economy as Xi Jinping’s government tightens its grip on data—a key battleground in the rivalry with the US.