An unexpected visit, a much unexpected visit. There is little trouble in big China, as the dispute between Microsoft and Chinese authorities took another turn. For the worse, obviously.
The company has confirmed that government officials made a sudden visit to their local offices, and although Redmond has not provided any details or given a reason, this much is certain that this incident adds to the tense relationship the company has with the government of this particular country.
Microsoft says that four of its offices across China have been raided today.
Workplaces in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Chengdu were the locations that were stormed in earlier today, as part of an official government investigation by the State Administration for Industry and Commerce. Four hits in one day, people!
This is what a Microsoft spokesperson was quoted as saying:
“We aim to build products that deliver the features, security and reliability customers expect and we’re happy to answer the government’s questions.”
The big question is whether these questions had to do with the previous discussions between both sides that ultimately resulted in getting Windows 8 banned in China.
Microsoft worked with the Chinese authorities last year in helping them purchase legitimate Windows XP licenses, and as a result, the local government believed that the company should have provided extended support for these installations, as opposed to the scheduled retirement of the platform.
The impact of this most recent investigation is, so far, unclear, and will probably remain so until the Chinese authorities publicly clarify the purpose of their investigation.