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China launches probe of Microsoft’s data practices, alleging “major problems”

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January 07
02:31 2016

The Chinese government expanded its probe of Microsoft’s business practices in the country, alleging “major problems” in the company’s electronic data. In a statement, China’s State Administration for Industry and Commerce (SAIC) said the Redmond, Wash.-based company will be required to issue more documents for the agency’s anti-trust probe.

Microsoft couldn’t immediately be reached for comment. Microsoft has experience tussling with the Chinese regulators. In July, 2014, the same agency also launched an investigation into Microsoft, alleging that it “had not fully disclosed anti-competition information about its Windows operating system and Microsoft Office application,” according to the Chinese government’s official press agency, Xinhua.

“Inspectors are investigating a Microsoft vice president and senior managers, and have made copies of the firm’s financial statements and contracts,” Xinhua reported. The Chinese regulators seized documents, e-mails and other data from Microsoft’s computers and servers, it said.

In 2013, the SAIC also reviewed complaints from Chinese companies that Microsoft had caused software compatibility problems by using “tie-in sales and verification codes in its Windows operating system and Microsoft Office application,” Xinhua reported.