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Microsoft China offices raided again in government antitrust investigation

Just over a week ago, Chinese government officials raided four Microsoft offices across the country as part of an investigation into alleged antitrust violations there. A spokesperson said that the company was "actively cooperating" with the probe, but that didn't stop the government from warning that Microsoft 'should not obstruct' their ongoing investigation. 

Today, China's State Administration for Industry and Commerce (SAIC), the regulatory agency responsible for the investigation, carried out a new wave of raids on Microsoft offices in four cities. Its Beijing offices were targeted again, along with three others in Liaoning, Fujian and Hubei. 

Additionally, the raids targeted offices of IT consultancy firm Accenture, which handles some of Microsoft's financial work in China. Accenture Greater China said in a statement to Reuters: "We can confirm that, as required by Chinese laws, we are cooperating with investigators of the [SAIC] and are helping provide them with certain information related to one of our clients." 

Microsoft has reiterated its commitment to cooperating with the probe; a spokesperson said today that the company is "serious about complying with China's laws and committed to addressing SAIC's questions and concerns." 

China has been intensifying its scrutiny of international firms in the last few months; earlier this week, for example, it announced an antitrust investigation into Mercedes-Benz. Foreign tech firms have been facing considerable opposition from the government too, which has banned many products - including those of Microsoft, Apple, Symantec and Kaspersky, among others - from official use. 

Source: Reuters

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