Beijing is on the verge antitrust investigation against Microsoft
Yesterday, we wrote that the Chinese offices of Microsoft in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Chengdu have been visited by local authorities. It turns out that this is a sign of the looming antitrust investigation, reports tech website Quartz. From the headquarters of software giant confirmed the information but did not name the possible reasons of the visit. The Chinese government has so far refrained from comment.
Experts believe that we are talking about individuals from the government Department of trade and industry who are investigating unfair competition against the manufacturer of microchips Qualcomm. If the suspicions are confirmed, the company will be under the threat of sanctions in the amount of more than $ 1 billion.
Qualcomm are now going through intense negotiations with Chinese manufacturers about the transition to 4G technology for the exchange of information, and obstacles posed by the government, not in the interests of the company, writes Quartz.
In the past few weeks, Microsoft is in a similar situation: the pressure from regulatory authorities may lead to lower prices for Chinese consumers. At the same time, foreign companies can thwart the efforts of Beijing, refusing to develop technological infrastructure in the country.
China is working hard to develop their own operating systems, but without much success. In January the Chinese Academy of Sciences introduced a mobile operating system called COS (China Operating System), which was quickly renamed by users, jokingly claiming that the acronym comes from COS Copy other System. Suddenly was terminated and the project to create a Chinese operating system for personal computers, called Red Flag Linux and decently resembles Windows.
Microsoft operating systems are widely used in China, making the company an easy target for government intervention. In may, China banned government officials from using Windows 8. Older and more vulnerable Windows XP was used on half of desktops in China before Microsoft ceased support in April.
In recent years, the American software giant is increasingly difficult to earn money by selling their software in China. In 2011, former CEO Steve Ballmer said that because of the huge amount of pirated software the company earns less in China than in the Netherlands, while China sold as many computers as in the United States.
This is one of the reasons why Microsoft should focus its efforts in the emerging market game consoles in the country. The company is taking orders for its Xbox through a partnership with website online trading JD.com. Gaming console in China for a long time was banned, but recently the ban was lifted temporarily, and with some limitations. In addition, games that recreate the violence will be censored.