MOSCOW, August 5 (RIA Novosti) - Chinese authorities have warned US software giant Microsoft from obstructing an ongoing antitrust investigation, said a statement published on the website of China’s State Administration for Industry and Commerce.
The company was instructed “not to interfere with or hinder the investigation,” a statement posted on the website of China’s State Administration for Industry and Commerce said.
Last week, Chinese authorities announced that the Washington-based corporation was facing a probe for possible violations of the country’s anti-monopoly laws, citing problems with compatibility and document authentication.
Microsoft itself has denied breaking local laws, saying in a statement on July 29 that its “business practices in China are designed to be compliant with Chinese law.” Last week, officials conducted surprise raids in several of Microsoft’s offices across the country.
Local state media, cited by The New York Times, accused Microsoft of “abusing its dominant market position" after the company ended its support for Windows XP in April, an operating system that is still used by about 200 million people in China. Windows 8 is prohibited from being used by the central government because it fears that information stored on Microsoft’s cloud service could be accessed by the United States.
China is still one of the largest markets for US tech companies, though a recent change in climate shows that it may be looking to squeeze out firms such as Microsoft.
The Chinese anti-monopoly law went into effect in 2008 and has been actively used against foreign companies. Qualcomm, a US maker of mobile device chips, has faced similar accusations, though the probe against Microsoft is the biggest antitrust case in China so far.