Accenture caught up in Microsoft China antitrust probe

Accenture caught up in Microsoft China antitrust probe

Summary: Chinese regulator visits Accenture's Dalian office to access Microsoft-related documents as part of an ongoing anti-monolopy investigation on the software vendor. The NYSE-listed consulting firm insists it's "not part of the antitrust probe".


Accenture says it is "cooperating" with China's State Administration for Industry and Commerce (SAIC) in the regulator's ongoing antitrust probe of Microsoft in the country.

The NYSE-listed consulting firm was responding to an earlier statement from the SAIC, which said its officials were sent on an unscheduled visit to Accenture's office in Dalian City, located in the northeast Liaoning province, to collect documents related to its investigation on Microsoft. 

When contacted for further comments, a Singapore-based representative forwarded a statement from Jim McAvoy, Accenture's global senior director of corporate communications: "SAIC came to Accenture's office to secure copies of Microsoft documents; we provided them to SAIC with Microsoft's permission. We are cooperating with the SAIC. We have no other information we can provide."

He said Accenture provides administrative services to Microsoft as part of a business process outsourcing deal and insisted: "Accenture is not under investigation. Accenture is not part of the antitrust probe."

Various media agencies including XinhuaWall Street Journal and Reuters had reported that Accenture was involved in the Microsoft antitrust investigation and that SAIC was investigating Accenture's China offices

SAIC last month made similar "surprise visits" to several of the software vendor's China offices--including Beijing and Hubei--making copies of its financial statements, contracts, and other documents from its servers. Microsoft also said it was cooperating with the Chinese government.

Chinese officials revealed that complaints from unnamed sources had prompted the investigation into claims Microsoft violated the country's anti-monopoly and antirust laws. The allegations involved compatibility, bundling of software, and document authentication related its Windows operating system. 

The Chinese government in May said Windows 8 would not be allowed on newly-procured government computers and mobile devices, but gave no reason for the ban. Xinhua, though, suggested the move was in response to Microsoft's end of support and security updates for Windows XP, which still runs on many computers used in the public sector. The report said the Chinese government had likely excluded Windows 8 in its procurement bids to avoid a similar situation in future where there would be no guaranteed technical support for the operating system. 

Symantec and Kaspersky also face similar bans in China after their were removed from a list of antivirus software suppliers approved to sell to government agencies. The two IT security vendors later clarified that the restrictions did not include local governments and large enterprises in the country, and only applied to agencies funded by the central government.

Topics: Legal, Microsoft, Software, China


Eileen Yu began covering the IT industry when Asynchronous Transfer Mode was still hip and e-commerce was the new buzzword. Currently a freelance blogger and content specialist based in Singapore, she has over 16 years of industry experience with various publications including ZDNet, IDG, and Singapore Press Holdings.

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  • Please, wipe Microsoft out of this world, Microsoft has corrupted everyone.

    "NSA Docs Detail Efforts To Collect Data From Microsoft’s Skype, SkyDrive, And"

    "MS, working with the FBI, developed surveillance capability to deal with the new SSL. These solutions were successfully tested and went live 12 Dec 2012."

    "Without investigating the real needs, the Slovak ministry of finance has recently been keen on quickly signing a new, more expensive licensing contract with Microsoft, which looked like it had been written by a private company."

    "Microsoft bribery probe enters Russia, Pakistan"

    "Microsoft zrejme získava na Slovensku zákazky za milióny v rozpore so zákonom"

    Microsoft Being Investigated for Bribery Overseas
    Jiří Pavelec
    • Too bad that will never happen, so I suspect you'll have many

      a sleepless night ahead for the remainder of your life.

      Funny, if I substitute "Microsoft" with "Google", I'll get surprisingly similar stories.

      And it's been well documented that Google actually helped the NSA create many of their tools. I know you don't want people talking about that, kind of a "hush-hush" type thing in your ABM world, but it's out there.

      But of course everyone wants a piece of MS now that they see MS headed in a positive direction, as they had assumed that MS would be running under Ballmer for years to come, gaining nothing.

      Now they are gaining much, and you ABMer's fear that. Heck, many of you are likely paid to post what you do....
      • sorry, we cannot access

        >> if I substitute "Microsoft" with "Google", I'll get surprisingly similar stories.

        microsoft's intranet.
  • China's Microsoft antitrust probe now includes Accenture

    China is trying to get more money out of Microsoft or trying to get the source code. This behavior is unacceptable. Microsoft should pack their bags and leave China, let them try to find a replacement OS (they won't), and then when they come begging to have Microsoft back they can charge double.
    • So your are just guessing

      “China is trying to get more money out of Microsoft or trying to get the source code.”
      • It seemed to work pretty well for Europe

        and you think the chinese government is less open to getting a nice piece of change from a decadent US corporation?
        And yes, I do think a lot of what the EU did was just for money.. No one ever demanded that Chevrolet make their cars to use BMW parts did they? But, a company that always had a built in browser that shared code with the desktop suddenly was doing something wrong to not advertise someone else's product? it was all about money and flexing power for no other reason than to show they could.
        • Not to say MS has not

          and may still be doing a lot of shaky crap.. Just most of the "complaints" repoted by ZDNet sounded mostly like they had a problem that MS had more than one product and they all worked together.. imagine that! And funny, they never minded Apple's completely closed Ecosystem. Guess they all had stock in Apple and did not want to rock the boat. They all do the same as much as we let them.. we vote with our $$. If you don't mind, they will keep doing it.. want them to stop? Stop paying them.
          I am not a fanboi for any system, MS, Google, Android, Apple, linux.. I use what fits my needs at the time. Too bad they all get too big for their britches now and then.
    • Like It Or Not

      Having the world's second largest economy and still growing fast carries a lot of clout. You won't see Microsoft or Accenture or Google or Apple, etc., etc. walking out on China.
      • Huh?

        Google walked out of China some time ago.
        Rabid Howler Monkey
  • Accenture, first the LSE

    and, now, China.

    Perhaps, Accenture should re-evaluate its partnership with Microsoft ...

    P.S. LSE = London Stock Exchange
    Rabid Howler Monkey
  • Remember..

    ...Microsoft are the only ones that have been convicted in ant trust cases. Nobody else....says everything really. Don't trust them unless you are a lemming fanboy with little grasp on your own lufe
  • The Real Story

    So the government of China is upset that Microsoft stopped the support of Windows XP, which many people have a pirated version. If people upgrade to Window 7 or 8, it will be more difficult for the government to keep tabs on their population. So they will not allow government offices to upgrade to Windows 8. To add pressure to Microsoft they started a investigation of Microsoft. Since they have not found anything, now they are going after any Microsoft associate like Accenture and many more to come.

    The government have not ban Windows 8 from the general population because most people cannot upgrade now and they are hoping their own OS based on Linux can will finally come into the market. They been working at it for the past 5 years, but been unable to make it work the way they want. I don't think it's the OS but porting all the old legacy programs that runs under Windows is the major problem.