Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) was targeted by a government agency responsible in enforcing antimonopoly laws and other business regulations in China.
According to the New York Times, authorities from the State Administration for Industry and Commerce for the People’s Republic of China visited the offices of Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) in the cities of Beijing, Chengdu, Guangzhou and Shanghai.
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Microsoft confirms visits by Chinese officials
Joanna Li, a public relations officer for Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) confirmed the visits of Chinese authorities at the offices of the company. She said, “There was a visit from government officials to our offices. Given the sensitivity of the issues, I can’t say anymore.”
The State Administration for Industry and Commerce did not issue any press release regarding its visits to the four offices of Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT). Their visits in the offices of the software giant suggest that it might be the subject of scrutiny.
Chinese businesses and government agencies widely use the operating system and software of Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT), which are often unlicensed copies. Chinese consumers complained about the software giant’s dominance, which allowed it to command higher prices.
Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) was one of the foreign technology companies identified by the media in China that would likely face stricter government checks for security risks after Edward Snowden leaked information regarding the surveillance activities of the United States government.
“We aim to build products that deliver the features, security and reliability customers expect, and we’re happy to answer the government’s questions,” according to Li.
China has been investigating multinational companies
Chinese authorities have been investigating multinational companies operating in the country. GlaxoSmithKline plc (NYSE:GSK) (LON:GSK), the largest pharmaceutical company in United Kingdom was accused of “economic crimes” in China. Some of its employees allegedly bribed doctors and hospital staffs to boost its sales.
Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) also faced investigations in China on cost and pricing issues during the wake of price fixing scandals in the country.
China’s President aims to reduce reliance of foreign patents
China’s President Xi Jinping recently strengthened the longstanding government policy of the government to control and master new technologies and to reduce the country’s reliance on foreign patents and suppliers.
Pres. Xi told Chinese engineers and scientists, “Only if core technologies are in our own hands can we truly hold the initiative in competition and development.”