updated 11:30 am EDT, Mon September 1, 2014
Latest remarks give Microsoft 20 days to respond to anti-trust complaints
China's State Administration for Industry and Commerce (SAIC) has questioned Microsoft Vice President Chen Shi regarding allegations of abuse of Microsoft's monopoly on operating systems, productivity software, and browsers in the country. As part of the questioning, Microsoft has been given 20 days to respond to complaints alleging that Microsoft's use of serialization of software may have violated China's anti-monopoly laws.
Businesses and the Chinese government are alleging that the serialization, intended to combat rampant piracy in the Chinese market, somehow induces the monopolistic situation in the country. In the growing complaint, which started with bundling concerns with Windows and Internet Explorer, SAIC also alleges that Microsoft has not fully disclosed compatibility problems with Windows 8 and older software.
The probe has been met with some skepticism outside China, where it is seen as retaliatory for US espionage and the Microsoft buy of Nokia. Microsoft's accounting firm Accenture maintains a similar stance after raids on it regarding the probe, saying that "we can confirm that, as required by Chinese laws, we are cooperating with investigators of the State Administration for Industry and Commerce and are helping provide them with certain information related to one of our clients."
Microsoft maintains that it is "serious about complying with China's laws and committed to addressing SAIC's questions and concerns." CEO Satya Nadella is scheduled to journey to China, in a trip scheduled before the anti-trust information-gathering raids took place.