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China: Microsoft, don't shy away from our probe

Regulator hauls Redmond legal eagle for a chat without coffee

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China's antitrust regulator has confirmed it met Microsoft's lawyers over its investigation into the US firm, warning it to abide by Chinese law and not to interfere with the probe.

China's State Administration for Industry and Commerce said in a statement (translated by Google) that it had spoken with deputy general counsel Mary Snapp about its anti-monopoly inquiry. Snapp reportedly said that Microsoft was committed to operating legally in the country and would cooperate fully with authorities.

The regulator announced last week that it would open an investigation into Redmond after it raided four of the company’s offices in China. The agency said that Microsoft was being investigated for issues with bundling its Office suite in with its Windows operating system.

The probe comes hot on the heels of a similar investigation into Qualcomm and with the same lack of warning. China is cracking down on foreign firms’ operations in the country, particularly US companies, after the NSA revelations about indiscriminate mass data slurping.

The firm has already had Windows 8 banned from government offices, although this was also linked to discontinued support for Windows XP, which is still running on large numbers of computers in the country.

Microsoft has had one bit of good news, though: it is the only overseas company to retain a spot on the newly updated list of approved PC vendors.

Microsoft had not returned a request for comment at the time of publication. ®

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