Microsoft office raid by Chinese authorities was about 'unfair trade'

We reported yesterday some of Microsoft’s offices in China had been raided by government agents who took away documents and computers. This was related to an official investigation but it was never made public what the Chinese authorities were actually investigating.

Sina News is now reporting that these raids and seizures were about anti-trust or “unfair trade” on Microsoft’s part. It's not clear if this is a legitimate concern regarding the company's business practices or simply a form of intimidation on the Chinese government's part. Unfortunately the company hasn’t made any further info public, though they did say they would fully cooperate with the authorities.

Microsoft has had a troubled relationship with the Chinese government recently, mostly stemming from the company’s decision to abandon Windows XP, still the most popular OS in China. Soon after the government banned Windows 8 from its own infrastructure citing security concerns.

The company needs the Chinese market as it’s one of the biggest on earth, but sadly geo-political realities often make for a bumpy relationship between Microsoft and local authorities.

Source: Sina News | Thanks FaiKee for the tip!

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This was to get their hands on the os code. Now they'll make "Indoors" .. "LinnDows" .. "OutDoors" .."Curtains" .. various cheap and free flavors of Windows =)

Microsoft actually does very little real business in China, so while there is huge potential in Chinas potential relevance, it is actually for the most part irrelevant.

True at the moment especially with regional pricing - but with such a high population as the country develops they might become a major purchaser as well as supplier of compatible products (e.g. App/Software development).

Hello,

I think Microsoft does a lot of business with OEMs in China who manufacture for worldwide consumption, though.

Regards,

Aryeh Goretsky

FaiKee said,
LOL, guess MS has quite a lot of experience on these things, in USA and Euro markets.

Too bad this time is pretty much all made up. A staggering majority of Microsoft product users in China acquired their software 'unconventionally'. Apparently, Microsoft's revenue from China is less than their revenue from the Netherlands, despite the population difference.

No, this is all a load of corrupt government crap, and is painfully transparent considering all the griping China did over the end of XP support and not wanting to pay for a new version of Windows. This is just a childish way of negotiating insanely low license costs to make this investigation 'go away', or 'fining' them just enough to fund the upgrades.

Beijing isn't exactly skilled at subtlety.

Ironically, Neowin and The Verge both opted not to mention the piracy rates of Microsoft software in China in their articles about this, but Re/Code did. Very strange, considering Re/Code is by far the bigger Apple shill.

Joshie said,

Too bad this time is pretty much all made up. A staggering majority of Microsoft product users in China acquired their software 'unconventionally'. Apparently, Microsoft's revenue from China is less than their revenue from the Netherlands, despite the population difference.

No, this is all a load of corrupt government crap, and is painfully transparent considering all the griping China did over the end of XP support and not wanting to pay for a new version of Windows. This is just a childish way of negotiating insanely low license costs to make this investigation 'go away', or 'fining' them just enough to fund the upgrades.

Beijing isn't exactly skilled at subtlety.

Ironically, Neowin and The Verge both opted not to mention the piracy rates of Microsoft software in China in their articles about this, but Re/Code did. Very strange, considering Re/Code is by far the bigger Apple shill.

Preach it!