China investigating Microsoft over Windows anti-monopoly claims

China investigating Microsoft over Windows anti-monopoly claims

Summary: The Chinese state industry and commerce administration is also looking at senior executives over claims it had not fully disclosed information about Windows and Office.

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TOPICS: Microsoft
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(Image: Microsoft)

Chinese regulators are investigating Microsoft for anti-monopoly claims over its Windows operating system.

China's State Administration for Industry & Commerce (SAIC) announced on its website that an unnamed senior vice-president and other senior executives at the Redmond, Wash.-based software giant are also under investigation.

The regulators had made copies of the company's financial statements, contracts, and other documents from company servers, but warned it could not complete its investigation, as Microsoft's key staff are not based in China, it said.

Complaints from other unnamed companies prompted the raids, the regulator added.

Microsoft is accused of violating China's anti-monopoly and antitrust law since June, for issues over compatibility, bundling of software, and document authentication.

It comes just weeks after The South China Morning Post noted that the Chinese government had been worried about Windows 8.

But much of the details remain under wraps.

It comes as tensions between US technology firms and China are under close scrutiny in the wake of the Edward Snowden leaks, which riled China considerably. The US and China have suffered impacted relations over the years over claims of state hacking and rampant software piracy.

Microsoft is not new to antitrust complaints, either in the US or in the European Union.

That said, China has been known to go after technology companies, such as Google in 2011, which prompted the search giant to leave the country.

Topic: Microsoft

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23 comments
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  • Pardon? RE:"....which prompted the search giant to leave the company."

    Did you perhaps mean "which prompted the search giant to leave the country."? Or if you did not mean that, what did you mean?
    FrederickLeeson
    • I could imagine Google wanting to escape from its own skin

      Shedding its skin like a snake and beginning afresh with a clean slate.

      Why? Worldwide privacy violations, anti-trust concerns, etc.
      Rabid Howler Monkey
  • The very last word mate

    Probably should be country. Unless of course you are of the persuasion that China is more like China Inc.
    ego.sum.stig
    • Whoops, typo

      Sorry about that. Corrected now. Thanks for the spot! --Zack
      zwhittaker
  • China investigating Microsoft over Windows anti-monopoly claims

    Something is fishy about this investigation and China has more on its agenda than this. Microsoft is not violating any anti-monopoly laws especially when you take in the fact that Apple does sales there and the Chinese government has their own version of linux. This is coming down to see how much money they can swindle out of a good American company like Microsoft and try to steal the Microsoft Windows code. It would be awesome if Microsoft packed their bags and left, leaving China to use their own linux and see just how unproductive they would be with it. They would be begging for Microsoft to come back and let them pretty much do whatever they want.
    Loverock.Davidson
    • They want XP

      back on the shelves...
      wright_is
    • Apple has nothing to do with article

      “Truth is not relative and facts are not opinions”
      daikon
      • He was only stating that Microsoft is not the only

        company doing business in China. Only providing the name of another company doing business so it can't be a monopoly.
        thekman58
        • What is your definition of

          monopoly as it relates to this article?
          daikon
    • laughing

      I just Google searched your username and see you stand some pretty extreme allegations of sockpupet

      Oddly see you just loved the Microsoft 250 dollar raspberry PI

      It would be awesome if Microsoft packed their bags and left, leaving China to use their own linux and see just how unproductive they would be with it. They would be begging for Microsoft to come back and let them pretty much do whatever they want.

      Yes the world could not revolve without Microsoft, not to insinuate that you sounded paternalistic or anything
      cdaringer@...
      • "leaving China to use their own linux"

        I think that's exactly what MS-management is afraid of. If MS wants to maintain its dominant position worldwide, it has to do business everywhere it legally can. Ergo, MS will put up with a lot before it leaves China, even if it shouldn't.

        I think China is prohibited by treaty from voiding MS' copyrights, but it could always abrogate the treaty by withdrawing from the WTO (that would be an economic/political decision, not a moral one).
        John L. Ries
  • Microsoft has a monopoly with pirated software in China

    That's probably it.
    Rabid Howler Monkey
    • Really, how many real XP licenses do you think

      actually existed in China? To now have all those unsupported XP copies is a problem.
      thekman58
      • Chinese people running pirated Microsoft Windows and Office

        without ever having bothered to update the software is a bigger problem.

        Enterprise Windows XP users in China, both government and private industry, have the option of paying Microsoft for custom support which will provide continued security updates until they upgrade to newer versions of Windows.
        Rabid Howler Monkey
        • Oh, and here's an interesting read

          "Report: China's software piracy rate falls to new low -- of 77%"
          http://www.zdnet.com/blog/china/report-chinas-software-piracy-rate-falls-to-new-low-of-77/414

          From the linked article:

          "The proportion of China’s personal computers with pirated software installed fell to 77 percent in 2011"


          It's now well in to 2014, has this changed considerably in the last couple of years? And has it reached the tipping point where there is more licensed Windows software in use on personal computers than unlicensed?
          Rabid Howler Monkey
        • And it's not just consumers running pirated Windows software in China

          "Microsoft complains to China over piracy at state firms: report"
          http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/09/21/net-us-microsoft-china-piracy-idUSBRE88K0CO20120921
          Rabid Howler Monkey
  • Everyone is missing the point.

    It is China being China.

    How long (since the rest of the "new world order" seems to be crashing and burning) did anyone thing "China Inc." would be allowed to really last. And anyone who doesn't think a sizable amount of that is orchestrated as a very well planned political and economic front against the rest of the world is very naïve.

    Step 1 was achieved - develop a dependence on them. Now for Step 2, develop an INDEPENDENCE from the rest of the world. So start by making non-homegrown solutions unpatriotic or downright criminal. So start by, once they have the tech they can milk out of them, driving non-Chinese firms out or setting draconian terms on those what insist on staying. At the same time push for "made in China" replacements "for the motherland".

    Once Step 2 is accomplished (and they are well on their way) look for Step 3 to begin. All these overseas deals and other antics - they all seem to revolve around resources, from minerals to food (guess who now owns the largest U.S. pork producer, for example, and who is locking down EVERY long-term contract for farm products they can...you betcha!). When they move to this step they will insist that they get their stuff they paid for, and we will oblige, even if it creates hyperinflation and shortages here and in the rest of the West. Does this sound familiar - Ask Spain, Italy, England, France, and even the U.S. in colonial times. And you see where that led to.

    Microsoft, they are just another casualty of a very well played economic war. Be warned.
    jwspicer
    • agree..

      show me the company that China has not abused.

      IBM was the most interesting, day after being questioned about their banking sector software there was an announcement that IBM was donating big data to the 'universities'

      Tsinghua University
      Shanghai Jiaotong University

      Huge "loss of face" better for Microsoft to apologize and donate software than hire sockpuppets
      cdaringer@...
      • Bummer

        Maybe it's not such a good idea for western corporations to do business in mainland China after all.
        John L. Ries
  • Good

    To this day, you still can't get a complete drop-in replacements for key Microsoft software like Outlook (if you want full Exchange connectivity.) The last company that attempted a full desktop replacement for Outlook/Exchange systems was Netscape -- 'member them? Even now, the only non-Microsoft MAPI email client (MAPI is one of Microsoft's many proprietary protocols) is descended from Netscape, Thunderbird.
    JustCallMeBC