China has strongly warned Microsoft that any attempt to frustrate its antitrust probe would have momentous consequences.
On Monday, SAIC (China’s State Administration for Industry and Commerce), an government agency that regulates competition within the marketplace, told Reuters in a statement that Microsoft should not try to block its probe into antitrust activities.
According to Reuters, the SAIC did not charge Microsoft for hindering its investigation though clarified that the company has “assured it would respect Chinese law and totally cooperate.”
Last week, the government agency searched various Microsoft offices based in China after launching a probe into likely antitrust violations. SAIC is worried that Microsoft’s products fail to conform seamlessly to the country’s rules on document authentication and compatibility, forcing Chinese users to use more Microsoft products than necessary.
Microsoft has maintained its cool and only stated that it follows Chinese law. Currently, there is no evidence that Microsoft has hindered the investigation. Similarly, it is not clear why SAIC feels the need to caution Microsoft.
According to China news outlets, the country is in the middle of a wide technology evaluation, which it believes that some US companies are spying on the Chinese government on behalf of the US. Microsoft has been affected by the accusations since it is among the most prominent and biggest US multinational with extensive Chinese footprint.
Windows 8 was banned from China’s government computers. In addition, the company’s cloud storage solution OneDrive has been cut off. Microsoft is yet to make a statement on the latest SAIC comments.