Chinese regulators say Microsoft must clarify ‘major problems’

World Today

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA – NOVEMBER 12: Crowds at the opening of Microsoft’s first Australian store at Westfield Sydney on November 12, 2015 in Sydney, Australia. It is the first flagship store outside of North America. (Photo by Christopher Pearce/Getty Images)

China’s State Administration for Industry and Commerce (SAIC) has asked tech giant Microsoft to clarify “major problems” identified in electronic data that had been obtained during an ongoing antitrust investigation.

The company is required to submit a complete explanation after the inquiry, the SAIC said in a statement posted on its website. The SAIC’s statement comes nearly 18 months after the investigations were first launched in July 28, 2014.

As early as in mid-2013, Chinese regulators had suspected that Microsoft had not fully disclosed information regarding its Windows operating system and Microsoft Office application, causing incompatibility issues. According to Chinese laws, incompatibility without advance warning to customers could be regarded as anti-competitive.

Finally, when an investigation was launched, the SAIC said that Microsoft had not fully disclosed information with regard to Windows and MS Office.

The investigations have so far resulted in raids on the company’s offices in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Chengdu on July 28, 2014, where the investigators collected a trove of documents, emails and other data. Following that, there have been a series of probes against the company, with one of its vice presidents and some senior managers being under scrutiny.