China has not been so kind to Microsoft recently, well, or ever if you consider the extremely high piracy rate in the country and with an anti-trust probe now being conducted, Satya Nadella looks to head to China next month.
The report comes from Reuters who says that Nadella has plans to visit China at the end of next month but Microsoft is not willing to comment on executive travel and of course they would not muster a peep about if he does go, what the reasoning for it might be. It's not hard to draw the lines as to why Nadella needs to go; China is a massive economy that Microsoft is trying to tap into after years of rampant piracy of its legacy software.
The anti-trust probe that is currently underway is targeting the browser and media player that is bundled with Windows. If this all sounds familiar, that's because it is, as Microsoft faced similar probes from the EU and US around a decade ago and has put those issues to bed. Because those other probes happened so long ago, China's efforts feel a bit like 'me too' and they may be simply looking for a way to twist Microsoft's arm.
China is planning on rolling out its own OS by the end of October to reduce its dependency on Microsoft products, after fear that the company is building in back-doors so the US government can spy on other countries.
It's likely safe to say that Nadella will work to calm the fears that Windows allows for government backdoors, and also try to figure out what they can do to get away from the probe during his trip. Even though Microsoft isn't commenting on the report, Reuters typically doesn't miss the mark on this kind of stuff.
[Update] Here is Microsoft's statement on Nadella going to China:
“Satya's trip was planned before the Chinese government investigation began. We’re committed to complying with China's laws and addressing SAIC's questions and concerns."