Chinese Anti-Trust Regulators Demand Explanation from Microsoft

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An anti-trust regulator in China said on Monday that Microsoft has 20 days to respond to questions on the compatibility of its Windows operating system and Office software suite.

According to a report by Business Insider on Monday, the State Administration for Industry and Commerce (SAIC) has talked to Microsoft VP David Chen, giving the company less than a month to provide a written explanation.

SAIC suspects that Microsoft has been in violation of China’s anti-monopoly law since June 2013, over issues with compatibility, bundling and document authentication for Windows and Microsoft Office software.

The demand for an explanation comes a few weeks after Chinese officials raided Microsoft offices in Beijing, Liaoning, Fugian and Hubei. Anti-trust regulators have also raided the Chinese office of Microsoft partner Accenture.

Microsoft said it is committed to addressing SAIC’s concerns. Although it hasn’t specified when it would provide the written explanation, it presumably will do so before the 20 days are up in an effort to prevent further raids.

Critics of China’s six-year-old anti-monopoly law say that companies are unfairly being targeted because they are headquartered in the IS. Regulators deny that this is the case.

Earlier this year, government agencies in China had bans replace IBM servers with local brands as part of a trial program and as part of a belief that domestic brands will be more secure than foreign ones.

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