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Microsoft

Microsoft Corporation is one of the world’s biggest software makers and manufactures and licenses a range of products and services related to computing. Founded in 1975 by Bill Gates and Paul Allen, the company is probably best known for its Windows software, although it has begun an aggressive drive into the mobile sector seeking to make inroads on market share held by Google and Apple. It paid 5.44 billion euros for the handset business of Nokia in September 2013.

NewsChina
TECHNOLOGY

Microsoft confirms China probe, reportedly over antitrust, after four offices visited

Regulator sends teams to four of firm's premises amid reports inquiry's focus is antitrust issues

PUBLISHED : Monday, 28 July, 2014, 7:04pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 29 July, 2014, 9:31am

Mainland business authorities are investigating Microsoft, the US technology giant confirmed yesterday, with reports that the focus was on antitrust behaviour.

Investigators of the State Administration for Industry and Commerce yesterday made unannounced visits to Microsoft's offices in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Chengdu , news portal Sina reported citing a source familiar with the matter.

It was unclear why the company was being looked into, it said, though the portal ran another story quoting a source as saying the investigation might have to do with antitrust matters.

The Microsoft investigation comes just days after the mainland's antitrust regulator said that Qualcomm, one of the world's biggest mobile chipmakers, had a monopoly.

Microsoft China spokeswoman Joan Li confirmed in an emailed statement that the company was being investigated and said it would "actively cooperate" with the government. She did not specify what the investigation was about.

The administration could not be reached late yesterday.

In late May, the central announced it would ban government use of Windows 8, Microsoft's latest operating system. At the time, the Xinhua reported that the ban was to ensure computer security after Microsoft ended support for its Windows XP operating system, which was widely used on the mainland.

Less than two weeks later, the state-run broadcaster CCTV aired a strongly critical programme in which experts suggested Windows 8 was being used to grab information on Chinese citizens.

A number of foreign companies have recently been the subject of official probes.

There were reports in May last year that Microsoft was being investigated by the United States Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission on accusations that the software giant's executives in China, Italy and Romania bribed government officials in exchange for business.

The Chinese case was first disclosed to US officials in 2012 by an unnamed whistle-blower who worked for Microsoft China. The whistle-blower was allegedly directed by a Microsoft executive to pay bribes to government officials to secure business deals.

Microsoft, with the help of an external law firm, was reported to have carried out an internal probe into the accusations, but found no case of such bribery.

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This article is now closed to comments

OldPeak Toad
You mean the Chinese Government has still been a major Microsoft USER.
CUSTOMERS are people that pay for what they use!
ghormax
It increasingly looks obvious that Western companies are being targeted in China.
Paradox314
Funny!
If they are so concerned about anti-trust they ought to take a look at the Communist Party, which does its best to maintain an absolute airtight monopoly on power.
warren_siu
In a country without laws, western companies have no protection should the government decide to favor Chinese businesses. Time to wake up HK.
chaz_hen
The benefit of hypocrisy is that it makes one blind to reality
caractacus
Funny how the "laws" in China only seem to apply to those the regime either doesn't like or those it wants to gain something from.
pragmatist
NSA can help because they already knew this step is coming!
jiawang@adb.org
When China came for Google, Microsoft said nothing.
Now no one will cry for Microsoft.
jayb
this is no different from MSFT in US. according to Glenn Greenwald reporting based on Snowden archieve, MSFT allowed NSA to plant backdoor and surveillance in windows, xbox, cloud, mobile even without a court order. US is like China, China is like US now...
wailunscmp
Discontinuation of Windows XP support, especially the Security feature, has badly affected the operations of PCs in Mainland China, if not all over the world.

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