Mystery surrounds sudden recent visits by Chinese government officials to Microsoft offices in China. The company declined to reveal a reason for the visits, which come as American tech companies have been under pressure after Washington accused Beijing of cybertheft. One source of speculation is that the company is under scrutiny for antitrust or pricing issues, since the authorities reportedly visiting Microsoft's facilities were from the government's industry and commerce division. Chinese media reported the officials visited Microsoft offices in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Chengdu. The mystery coincides with Microsoft's push into the Chinese market. Its Xbox One game console goes on sale in September for the first time in China this year, after the government lifted a decades-long ban on consoles. But Microsoft has also been a focus of anti-U.S. technology sentiment in China since National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden revealed widespread spying programs.
- Eunice Yoon, CNBC, and Reuters
First published July 28 2014, 6:35 AM