China warns Microsoft: Don't hinder antitrust probe


China is warning Microsoft that it should avoid entering the antitrust investigation currently being undertaken by officials in Beijing.

The government, in a new report, has said that the tech company would make things worse if it were to attempt to "obstruct" the ongoig investigation that China's State Administration for Industry and Commerce (SAIC) says.

However, SAIC has not officially charged Microsoft with intervening or attempting to persuade regulators over the antitrust probe. It instead says the American company "has promised to respect Chinese law and fully cooperate" with the government and efforts that are part of the investigation process.

The email statement published shows that SAIC wants to ensure that Microsoft maintains distance from the investigation to make certain regulators and those looking into the matter have ample opportunity to delve into the issues. It also comes after a number of Microsoft offices in the East Asian country were raided by the agency late last month as the investigation into alleged antitrust violations was developing.

Microsoft has not commented on the investigation, but said recently that its "business practices are designed to be compliant with Chinese law."

At the heart of the investigation is whether Microsoft products and devices are on par with China's rules and regulations on compatibility and authentication. The move is seen by the government as forcing officials and consumers to use Microsoft products when they could have gone for another brand.

According to many analysts and observers, Microsoft has not violated Chinese law. But it comes after the Chinese government banned Windows 8 in the country last May after a number of security flaws were seen, Tech Times reported.

The Chinese government said (translation required) in a press release that all desktops, laptops and tablets that are being funded and financially supported by the government must not use the Windows 8 operating system. It also urged consumers to avoid the product until the company is able to fix the flaws.

The statement published by the Central Government Procurement Center says that "the measure targets only government offices" and that "personal computers on the market will be unaffected."

Still, the recent statement from SAIC shows that China is pushing forward on boosting its regulations on tech companies as more and more devices and products reach the world's largest market. The tech world is hopeful that China will continue to open its doors and help boost the tech sector going forward.

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