Business

China confirms probe into Microsoft over antitrust concerns

A leaked screenshot of Windows 8.1 Update 1 from Russian leaker "WZor," prior to its release.

Above: A leaked screenshot of Windows 8.1 Update 1 from Russian leaker "WZor," prior to its release.

Image Credit: WZor

After an unexpected raid of Microsoft’s offices in China yesterday, the country’s State Administration for Industry and Commerce (SAIC) is confirming an investigation into possible anti-competition practices at Microsoft, reports the Wall Street Journal.

The raids took place in Microsoft’s Beijing, Shanghai, Chengdu, and Guangzhou offices. The SAIC reportedly confiscated emails and documents as well as internal correspondence and two computers.

Businesses have filed complaints about Microsoft’s Windows 8 and Windows Office, including questions about the way products are bundled together and certain security features, the SAIC said, according to the Wall Street Journal.

China is a huge opportunity for many companies, because not only is there a giant population of 1.35 billion people, but the country has a large upper middle class. However, government restrictions and piracy make it difficult for companies to do business in China. And since Edward Snowden’s revelations about U.S. national security agency data collection practices, doing business there has gotten even harder for U.S. companies.

Some are speculating that China is also using antitrust laws to protect native companies.

Earlier this month, China Telecom announced it had contracted with Microsoft to sell the Xbox One when it launches in the fall. It’s unclear now, though, whether, with the SAIC probe, the Xbox One will still hit its target launch date.


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