Microsoft Given 20 Days To Respond To China’s Anti-Trust Probe
A few days ago, Chinese antitrust authorities claimed that Microsoft’s sale of Internet Explorer and Windows Media Player was ‘problematic’ and that Microsoft didn’t cooperate with the state’s authorities. For this reason, they raided Microsoft’s offices in China. Moreover, they also don’t paint a very cozy picture for the country’s Microsoft office that that originally came bundled with Windows XP.
Now the story is moving further as the State Administration for Industry and Commerce (SAIC) in China has issued a statement demanding that Microsoft has 20 days to reply to queries on the anti-trust probe. According to Reuters, SAIC said in the statement that Microsoft has been unwilling to disclose compatibility information about Windows and Microsoft Office. They mentioned other issues as well.
State media news agency Xinhua reported on Monday that Chinese companies have also complained of the the Redmond-based company’s use of verification codes. Xinhua stated that their use may have violated state’s anti-monopoly law.
Verification codes are used to fight piracy. They are helpful for Microsoft in providing authentic software and future updates that are necessary in keeping the software stable. Hence, these allegations by Chinese companies don’t make any sense.
“It’s hard to make sense of and hard to see how Microsoft can appease,” said Duncan Clark, chairman of Beijing-based tech consultancy BDA. “How does an anti-piracy measure constitute monopolistic behavior if other suppliers can also use the same technique?”
China is carrying out scrutiny of at least 30 companies that include Qualcomm and Mercedes Benz as well. The reason behind these actions by Chinese anti-monopoly regulators is that Chinese government wants to enforce its six-years old anti-trust law.
In response to the deadline, Microsoft has made it clear that the company wants to cooperate with China’s anti-trust probe. “We’re serious about complying with China’s laws and committed to addressing SAIC’s questions and concerns,” said Microsoft in a statement.
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella will be visiting China in September but this trip was planned before the deadline was issued. China, being the most populated country, is important for every big company like Microsoft. However, their scrutiny processes, that is believed to be carried out just to target western companies, becomes roadblock for the tech companies and make it difficult to achieve success in Chinese market so easily.
In other news, China plans to release its own operating system in October. Could all these allegations on Microsoft be a part of the strategy to make way for Chinese operating system?