Microsoft in China target of potential probe, Sina reports

BEIJING — Chinese regulators met with managers at Microsoft Corp.’s offices in four cities including Beijing and Shanghai in preparation for a potential probe into whether the company engaged in monopolistic practices, Sina.com said.

State Administration for Industry and Commerce officials also called on Microsoft in Guangzhou and Chengdu Monday, the news portal said on its website, citing a Microsoft China employee it didn’t identify.

Regulators may start a probe into Microsoft’s possible monopoly in China’s operating system market, Sina.com added, citing another unidentified person. China is stepping up scrutiny of U.S. technology companies, and excluded Windows 8 from a government purchasing order in May. U.S. tensions with China escalated after prosecutors indicted five Chinese military officers for allegedly stealing secrets of American companies.

“Microsoft is happy to answer the government’s questions,” the company said in an e-mailed statement yesterday, without confirming whether authorities had visited its local offices in China.

China said in May it will vet technology companies for potential national security breaches, after the government threatened retaliation for a U.S. indictment of Chinese military officers on cyberspying claims.

A spokesman from the State Internet Information Office, cited by the Xinhua News Agency, said in May that “governments and enterprises of a few countries” are taking advantage of their monopoly status and technological edge to collect sensitive information.

Qualcomm Inc. said in November that China’s National Development and Reform Commission began an investigation related to an anti-monopoly law. The Chinese government has been stepping up corporate scrutiny as new leadership expands an anti-corruption drive and cracks down on business practices that lead to increases in consumer prices.

More in Herald Business Journal

Camano artist mixes flask, paintings for successful cocktail

Art flasks prove popular as bachelorette gifts, birthday presents and wedding favors.

Pentagon inspector general praises secret $80 billion bomber

US Government Accountability Office in 2016 rejected a protest filed by Boeing-Lockheed Martin.

Everett’s Sentry Credit celebrates a quarter century in business

Sentry Credit Inc. in Everett is celebrating its 25th year in business.… Continue reading

Funko donates hundreds of Pop! Heroes to Christmas House

Everett’s toy and collectibles maker Funko has donated hundreds of its Pop!… Continue reading

Donate coats for Clothes for Kids of Snohomish County

Washington Energy Services is conducting a local coat drive to benefit Clothes… Continue reading

Seattle Premium Outlets extend hours over Thanksgiving holiday

Seattle Premium Outlets will be offering extended Black Friday shopping hours in… Continue reading

Equipment rental and sales business H&E opens Mukilteo shop

Company hopes to capitalize on construction occuring in northwest Washington.

New Chick-fil-A draws dozens of campers in Bothell

A second restaurant of the popular chain is opening on Thursday.

Tulalip Resort Casino to feature locally grown hazelnuts

The resort wanted to put a focus on meals created with the nut.

Most Read