China requests more info in Microsoft antitrust investigation

China's antitrust investigation of Microsoft dating back to 2014 may be heating up again.

China's State Administration for Industry and Commerce (SAIC) is requesting more information from Microsoft as part of an antitrust investigation involving the company.


In a statement from SAIC on January 5, the Chinese agency said it was asking Microsoft to explain some of the information it received as part of an investigation it originally kicked off in 2014.

"We're serious about complying with China's laws and committed to addressing the SAIC's questions and concerns," a Microsoft spokesperson said via a statement sent to me in e-mail today after I requested more information. Microsoft isn't commenting further about the case.

The New York Times reported that SAIC said it would open a new antitrust investigation of Microsoft related to unspecified electronic data that the agency collected in an earlier inquiry.

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As both the Times and the Wall Street Journal noted, recent anti-monopoly laws in China have resulted in a number of companies, including Qualcomm, Volkswagen and Chrysler, paying substantial fines for violations.

Microsoft's original problems with Chinese regulators may be connected to the company's decision to end support and updates for Windows XP as planned and not provide the Chinese government with hoped-for exclusions, some have reported. The Chinese government said its antitrust concerns regarding Microsoft's behavior centered around issues over compatibility, bundling of software, and document authentication.

Microsoft has made a number of recent moves to try to increase its Windows market share in China.