China: Microsoft targeted by antitrust officials

US-based Microsoft is reportedly facing an antitrust investigation in China after reports emerged Monday that the company’s offices in the Asian nation were searched by government officials.

Local media reported Monday that China’s State Administration for Industry and Commerce conducted surprised searches at Microsoft offices in four Chinese cities over the weekend, including in Beijing and Shanghai. It remains unclear, however, as to the exact nature of the searches.

In a statement, Microsoft confirmed the raids and said the company would fully cooperate with the probe.

According to the Financial Times, the investigation may be part of China’s larger goal of strengthening domestic tech firms against their foreign rivals, which hold significant market share.

Further, say reports, the deal may strain already tense relations between the US and China after China banned the use of Microsoft’s Windows 8 operating system on new computers in the nation. Reports say the ban, first imposed in May, was a direct response to recent revelations of US spying programs utilized by tech companies; the scandal has lead to anti-US technology sentiment abroad, including in China.

Full content: Business Insider

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