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Sony confirms it will hike wages for new hires with AI expertise

Sony Corp. confirmed on June 3 that it is boosting the salaries of new recruits who are experts in artificial intelligence and software development.

The Nikkei Asian Review reported the same day that the Japanese consumer electronics giant is increasing the wages of new hires with tech expertise by up to 20%. The newspaper said the move is part of Sony's shift away from the traditional seniority-based pay in Japan.

A Sony spokesperson confirmed the move in an emailed statement. "We will implement these measures to strengthen our competitiveness in recruitment," the spokesperson said.

The Nikkei said new graduates hired by Sony will receive the same entry-level salary and will be assigned a pay grade after more than a year in their roles. Sony pays a baseline annual salary of ¥6 million for new graduates and increases the pay to about ¥6.3 million for an average second-year employee who has received a pay grade, the report said.

Under the new pay system, strong performers will be able to earn ¥7.3 million in their first year, the Nikkei said. Sony reportedly plans to implement the change for about 5% of its roughly 400 spring 2019 hires.

As of May 31, US$1 was equivalent to ¥108.69.