Microsoft given a deadline by Chinese government to respond to antitrust questions

Microsoft given a deadline by Chinese government to respond to antitrust questions
In late July, Microsoft saw at least four of its offices in China get raided by government personnel, confiscating documents and computer hardware in what would later be confirmed to be part of an antitrust investigation.

The details of the investigation are still a little blurry, and for now it looks like the items of interest are “Windows and Internet Explorer,” quite the broad brush with which to paint a picture, and a song that Microsoft has heard before.

China’s State Administration for Industry and Commerce (SAIC) noted that its investigation was actually bigger, including Microsoft Office. SAIC also stated that Microsoft was not being “fully transparent” with its sales in China and sent a formal inquiry to Microsoft Vice President Chen Shi (aka David Chen). Microsoft has 20 days to provide a written response. Microsoft has stated from the beginning that it would “actively cooperate” with the investigation.

One of the complaints against Microsoft relates to the company’s use of verification codes which are utilized as an anti-piracy measure. Software piracy has been an ongoing problem for companies like Microsoft. Steve Ballmer once told China-based employees that Microsoft made less revenue in China than it did in the Netherlands. If you cannot draw a connection between verification codes and monopolistic behavior, you are not alone, “How does an anti-piracy measure constitute monopolistic behavior if other suppliers can also use the same technique?” asked Duncan Clark with BDA, a Beijing based tech-consultant.

The raids and subsequent investigation into Microsoft (along with 30 other foreign companies) were the latest actions in what many are seeing as protectionist measures being taken by China to shore up its own businesses. It recently stated that Google’s control over Android gives it unfair influence in China’s smartphone market and that Qualcomm has a monopoly in the microprocessor segment. The Chinese government has also blocked all government agencies from upgrading to Windows 8. Satya Nadella will be making a trip to China later this month.

All that activity is coupled with the Chinese government initiative called the OS Development Alliance, which is building its own operating system solely to compete with Apple, Google, and Microsoft, on the desktop, and in mobile. That platform is expected to make its debut in October.

sources: Reuters via Neowin and WPCentral

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10 Comments

1. DirtyDan23

Posts: 280; Member since: Aug 12, 2014

i know this new Chinese OS will steal from other OS's

2. naittosan

Posts: 239; Member since: Jun 28, 2014

Hey it's China what do you expect out of those commies.

3. joey_sfb

Posts: 6794; Member since: Mar 29, 2012

Microsoft is a convicted monopolist in their own country. No surprise their business practice is still the same.

4. colinkiama

Posts: 60; Member since: Nov 23, 2013

Its not their fault that people are buying pcs over linux and mac computers. What is also funny is that microsofts services are avavailable on competing platforms too. But why isn't google making apps for WP. Why are they forcing people to make google+ accounts for youtube. Microsoft may have been a monopolist in the past but they stepped down from this. There is a monopolist right under our noses but people aren't realising are they?

5. Ashoaib

Posts: 3276; Member since: Nov 15, 2013

I think all big giants are like this... microsoft made its monoply, intel was fined for unfair practices against AMD, apple is infamouse for bringing law suits in an effort to create its monoply, google is fully throttling android for its monoply.... moreover, NSA revelations added up insecurities in people and other governments.... what we can expect in such senario? One possible answer is to expect what chinese government is doing now... it is totally not a bad idea to bring own OS to be on safe side and to avoid becoming the victom of someone's(nsa) hidden intensions

6. Liveitup

Posts: 1798; Member since: Jan 07, 2014

@Joey_sfb keep trolling you little troll. Its communist China that's accusing others including your precious Google, the irony. China is targeting foreign companies with opaque laws and rules. U.S. companies are joining Europeans in flagging increased concern that local authorities involved in an antitrust crackdown are discriminating against non-Chinese corporations. Grow up, quit trolling MS.

7. joey_sfb

Posts: 6794; Member since: Mar 29, 2012

Liveitup. What i just said is 100% factual. Microsoft is a convicted monopolist. Deal with it.

8. Liveitup

Posts: 1798; Member since: Jan 07, 2014

Yeah that was on the past the old Microsoft, everyone knows that. Right now however Google is being investigated for being a monopolist, also factual. Deal with it.

9. joey_sfb

Posts: 6794; Member since: Mar 29, 2012

Google is being investigated but not convicted. Microsoft is being investigated and convicted as a monopolist. Big different! In fact it show the world that Microsoft is the dirty crook while Google is the victim of Microsoft false accusation. Microsoft being fine.http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/03/06/us-eu-microsoft-idUSBRE92500520130306 Microsoft slander Googlehttp://www.reuters.com/article/2011/03/31/us-microsoft-google-idUSTRE72U1IN20110331 Google cleared of wrongdoing much to Microsoft displeasurehttp://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/google/10624447/EU-Commissioner-hits-back-at-Microsoft-over-Google-complaints.html Microsoft WP deserve to FAIL! Bad Karma!

10. 7thspaceman

Posts: 1597; Member since: Feb 14, 2011

Microsoft will hold the line as far as software verification is concerned to try to halt serious Chinese software Piracy. Microsoft is a software Company that is how they make their money. I hope the Chinese Communists are not dumb enough to want microsoft to give up free software to China- NO WAY! windows 8.1 is free to run on tablets with screen sizes below 9 inches and the Windows phone 8 /8.1 is free. so how much free do they want from Microsoft. Maybe microsoft should cut a deal with them and give them MS XP operating system for free! the hackers would love that!

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