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China Launches Antitrust Probe Vs. Microsoft

CmdrTaco posted more than 6 years ago | from the get-on-the-bus dept.

Microsoft 295

snydeq writes "China has launched an investigation into whether Microsoft unfairly dominates its software market, according to a state media report. A working committee of China's State Intellectual Property Office is investigating whether Microsoft engaged in discriminatory pricing and will also look at Microsoft's practice of bundling other software programs within its Windows operating system, according to the report. The probe is part of a greater sweep of operating systems and other software developed by multinational companies that cost much more in China than in the U.S. 'On the one hand, global software firms, taking advantage of their monopoly position, set unreasonably high prices for genuine software while on the other hand, they criticise Chinese for poor copyright awareness. This is abnormal,' a source said."

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Wha? (5, Insightful)

wamerocity (1106155) | more than 6 years ago | (#23839707)

I don't think you can call it a monopoly if all the companies software in your country is pirated.

Re:Wha? (2, Insightful)

MoonlightSeraphim (1253752) | more than 6 years ago | (#23839831)

I believe what they are trying to say is that. "We pirate your software because your prices are so effen high" and now they are using this action as an excuse for MS to fsck off and justify what they did in front of the world ... that is if they even care.

Re:Wha? (2, Insightful)

Hassman (320786) | more than 6 years ago | (#23840787)

That's funny. Isn't that why people pirate music? People here usually think that is a valid excuse / reason. Attn: DOJ, time to sue the RIAA!

Re:Wha? (1)

all5n (1239664) | more than 6 years ago | (#23839927)

Because everyone else is doing it...

Hey, free money!

The long term plan of Chinese global cultural manifest destiny continues.

Re:Wha? (1)

spun (1352) | more than 6 years ago | (#23840415)

The Chinese plan is different from the US plans, [wikipedia.org] how, exactly?

Re:Wha? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23839969)

LOL. This story is the funniest thing I've read all week.

Re:Wha? (5, Insightful)

hey! (33014) | more than 6 years ago | (#23840017)

Well, given that said company wants the country to do something about it, then whether the way they set and enforce prices is legal in that country is certainly a relevant question. If Microsoft is calling upon China to enforce its intellectual property laws, it can hardly complain if China agrees, but also insists on enforcing its anti-trust laws.

Princess Bride (5, Funny)

Ukab the Great (87152) | more than 6 years ago | (#23840031)

China To Microsoft: "You're trying to have a monopoly on what we've rightfully stolen"

They just follow the EU (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23840151)

I guess China noticed how the EU keeps extorting Microsoft for a few billion a year, and figured they want some of that.

After all, the EU has set up an entire class of laws which apply to Microsoft, and nobody else. Like how Microsoft can't bundle a media player with their OS... and yet every other OS company is ok with having a bundled media player. Same thing with the browser: Opera can't compete in the market, so they are trying to legislate their way into sales using that same precedent. So it's ok for Apple and Linux to include a web browser... but the EU is going to say it's not ok for Windows to have a browser.

When you are looking to extort money from somebody, you don't need a reason, you need a pretext. And that's all they can ever come up with when they try to legislate their way into Microsoft's pocket.

The FOSSies may love trying to legislate their way into market share (even though it's not actually working- Linux's market share has been stagnant for over a decade)... but it's damaging the computer industry as a whole.

Who do you want deciding what applications and products we are allowed to use: the marketplace and yourself, or the government and lawmakers? The FOSSies are trying to make it the latter, since they can't win. It's more important for them to win, than for all of us to have choice- they are supposedly all about choice... unless people dare choose commercial software.

Re:They just follow the EU (1)

lluBdeR (466879) | more than 6 years ago | (#23840429)

I guess China noticed how the EU keeps extorting Microsoft for a few billion a year, and figured they want some of that.
I don't blame them, look at the price of fuel. Not too much longer and it'll make financial sense for us to make our own shoddy goods.

MONO-poly (1)

Mathinker (909784) | more than 6 years ago | (#23840441)

> which apply to Microsoft, and nobody else

You do know what the meaning of "mono" in monopoly is, right?

What a laughable troll.

I wait for the day that the EU go after "Linux" for abusing a monopoly position. LOL

Re:Wha? (1)

kai6novice (1093633) | more than 6 years ago | (#23840359)

I think the Chinese government is trying to say... "Your (Microsoft) software is so good and so expensive, it's monopolize our pirate market. No one is buying any Linux software in our pirate market." LOL

Re:Wha? (2, Funny)

Random BedHead Ed (602081) | more than 6 years ago | (#23841093)

Your (Microsoft) software is so good and so expensive
I know. The timing of this investigation shows the Chinese are reeling from how good Microsoft's software is, now that Vista's out.

Re:Wha? (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 6 years ago | (#23840805)

The Chinese government is just fighting for consumer rights here--unless the consumer says anything bad about the Chinese government or tries to access a pro-democracy site on the internet, in which case they will be imprisoned.

What? (1)

daveatneowindotnet (1309197) | more than 6 years ago | (#23839711)

What use would Communist China have for anti-Trust laws

Re:What? (4, Informative)

flyingfsck (986395) | more than 6 years ago | (#23839739)

China isn't any more communist than for example the UK, Canada or Australia.

Re:What? (5, Insightful)

wattrlz (1162603) | more than 6 years ago | (#23839789)

Except for the part where they proclaim to be.

Re:What? (5, Insightful)

immcintosh (1089551) | more than 6 years ago | (#23840373)

I claim to be the King of Prussia. Doesn't make it so, anymore than China's claims make it genuinely communist.

Re:What? (3, Funny)

MrNaz (730548) | more than 6 years ago | (#23841009)

I salute your use of alliteration in illustrating your point, my liege.

Re:What? (4, Insightful)

Robert1 (513674) | more than 6 years ago | (#23839909)

You're totally right. They aren't communist. What they are is fascist.

"Anti-individualistic, the fascist conception of life stresses the importance of the State and accepts the individual only insofar as his interests coincide with those of the State, which stands for the conscience and the universal will of man as a historic entity.... The fascist conception of the State is all-embracing; outside of it no human or spiritual values can exist, much less have value.... Fascism is therefore opposed to that form of democracy which equates a nation to the majority, lowering it to the level of the largest number...."

Best description of China I ever read. That's straight from Mussolini's "The Doctrine of Fascism."

On a related note anyone read the article on how Chinese police jailed parents who tried to go back to the faulty death-traps - I mean schools - their government had built. The police were also instructed to keep foreign press away from the schools and to not let anyone take photos. A pretty good example of how the most important thing is the state above all - including it seems the needless deaths of children.

Re:What? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23839983)

No wonder modern American Liberals like the Chinese so much. Modern American Liberals are EXACTLY the same as Mussolini from an ideological standpoint.

Yes, if you are a Liberal Democrat, you are a fascist.
Barack Hussein Obama: Fascist.
SEIG HEIL!

Re:What? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23840317)

Even though you're just trolling, you could have taken the trouble to spell "sieg heil" correctly...

Re:What? (1)

daveatneowindotnet (1309197) | more than 6 years ago | (#23840393)

What liberal group is expressing sympathy for China exactly? I guess the Free Tibet protest rallies where held by San Fran's local Young Republicans chapter. OTOH credit where credit is due, nice avoidance of invoking Hitler and Nazis to avoid Godwin's Law, even if using Franco as your model Fascist would have been more clever.

Re:What? (3, Interesting)

abigor (540274) | more than 6 years ago | (#23840679)

Agreed 100%, and it is an absolute farce that they were awarded the Summer Olympic Games. Tens of thousands of people were displaced in order to build facilities and erase "unsightly" slums.

I'm interested in seeing what the Tibetans get up to during the Games though - my guess is shenanigans will ensue, with the predictably heavy-handed military response. These Games could (hopefully will) end up being the biggest clusterfuck in the history of the Olympics.

Just more efficient ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23840749)

So let's see the Chinese skipped the democracy part and went straight to fascism unlike here in the United States were we tried a semi-functional democracy for little while before making the switch.

See once again China is able to get to market faster by streamlining their manufacturing process, even in the political arena.

Re:What? (5, Insightful)

Hal_Porter (817932) | more than 6 years ago | (#23840035)

China isn't any more communist than for example the UK, Canada or Australia.
There's a school of thought that says that German Nazism in WWII and Russian Communism were essentially two identical versions of the same system which just claimed to be different. Of course Hitler and Stalin had different hate groups, but the actual systems they built were in practice very similar.

So it's quite possible for a Communist country like China to change their official ideology to Han Chinese nationalism and corporate state/slave labour capitalism and still be just as far from the UK, Canada or Australia.

So don't be fooled that they given up on 'Communism'. The PRC was never very socialist anyway, most European democracies went much farther down that path.

Re:What? (2, Insightful)

Hassman (320786) | more than 6 years ago | (#23840841)

Very true. The far crazy right isn't that different from the far crazy left when you truly look at it.

This no value added comment brought to you by one bored guy.

Re:What? (1)

B_un1t (942155) | more than 6 years ago | (#23840833)

WHAT!??! Does the UK FILTER THE INTERNET like China? I doubt it.

Re:What? (5, Insightful)

meringuoid (568297) | more than 6 years ago | (#23839829)

What use would Communist China have for anti-Trust laws

China is being heavily leant upon by the US and its stooges to do something about their prevailing culture of piracy - you know, the great DVD markets of Hong Kong and Shanghai where every film is available a month before it reaches the cinema, all that stuff. It's all to do with international trade agreements; China gets to make more money selling abroad if they stop ripping off Hollywood and Silicon Valley.

Hitherto China has been happily ignoring Microsoft's monopoly by simply pirating everything. If they're going to go legit then they're going to make damn sure they don't end up paying through the nose for it, so they're raising the same monopoly issue that the US and the EU have done. After all, if China is going to play fair, then so must Microsoft.

Re:What? (1, Insightful)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 6 years ago | (#23839937)

But that is what doesn't make sense. Last time I checked Microsoft charged less for Windows in China than in the US not more. When you think about how many systems are built and preloaded with Windows in China I can not believe that it costs Lenovo less to sell Windows on a PC in the US than it does to sell it in China.

Re:What? (2, Interesting)

nschubach (922175) | more than 6 years ago | (#23841055)

You see, that's where I get really foggy on this whole MS anti-trust issue. I'm pretty sure it's considered "unfair practice" to sell your product to one area (State?) for less or more than another at base cost. (making one market pay more to cover the cost of underselling your product in another market ... ahem $3 per license Windows in Africa(?)) Shipping and taxes would influence the end price. This is what confuses me about how Microsoft does business and how it's still considered legal. The cost of Windows should only be influenced by taxes since digital transfers really cost nothing. (I guess you could add in the shipping cost of CDs though...)

Isn't it global anti-trust to sell a product for less in one country than you do another? Is there such a thing? Who would bring down the hammer on such things?

Re:What? (1)

RiotingPacifist (1228016) | more than 6 years ago | (#23840041)

Well that about sums it up, all the anti/pro china/microsoft shills can go home^h^h^h outside because this post hits the nail on the head.

How about an antitrust probe of the government? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23839717)

Next I hope is an antitrust probe of the Chinese government in business.

Abnormal? (2, Funny)

Xelios (822510) | more than 6 years ago | (#23839727)

"set unreasonably high prices for genuine software while on the other hand, they criticise Chinese for poor copyright awareness. This is abnormal"

Actually, that sounds pretty normal to me.

phrostee fish (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23839731)

the chineses like their frostys microsoftee

Par for the course (4, Insightful)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | more than 6 years ago | (#23839733)

Don't read too much into the story. All it means is one more high party official is looking to get his share of payments to the top officials in China. Once a few million $ are safely handed over, the probe will be frozen, to be thawed only during the negotiations of the next payment.

Re:Par for the course (2, Insightful)

cduffy (652) | more than 6 years ago | (#23840591)

My distinct impression was that most of the corruption in the Chinese government was closer to the local level. Do you have any solid information to the contrary?

The Microsoft Lottery (4, Insightful)

suck_burners_rice (1258684) | more than 6 years ago | (#23839735)

In other words, China is jumping on the bandwagon of countries that is playing the "Sue Microsoft Lottery" to get some extra cash. I mean, I don't like Microsoft's products, particularly their operating systems, because I think they've completely lost touch with what a computer is supposed to do, but when it comes down to it, it's our fault, not Microsoft's, that their junk software is so ingrained in the entire computing industry. We are the ones who vote with our dollars, and so, if you don't like Microsoft, or their software doesn't get the job done for you, then don't pay them your money. But don't wine and complain about them either. And certainly don't play the Microsoft lottery. That's ridiculous.

Re:The Microsoft Lottery (5, Insightful)

BlueParrot (965239) | more than 6 years ago | (#23839827)

I have an alternative interpretation.

If you don't like the rules in the country you try to do business in, then don't do business there, and don't whine when their courts fine you for breaking them. Or perhaps this issue is a little bit more complex than a one sentence argument?

Re:The Microsoft Lottery (2, Insightful)

Hassman (320786) | more than 6 years ago | (#23840961)

But when the country is China? Come on. China! Like ANYONE or ANY company could get a fair trial there. There are no human rights, what makes you think that large non-govt. corporations will have any?

Re:The Microsoft Lottery (1)

adavies42 (746183) | more than 6 years ago | (#23840971)

If you don't like the rules in the country you try to do business in, then don't do business there, and don't whine when their courts fine you for breaking them.
There are definitely times I wish Microsoft would just shrug [wikipedia.org] . Of course, that would require that Gates (or Ballmer or whoever) have some actual moral integrity....

Re:The Microsoft Lottery (1)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | more than 6 years ago | (#23839845)

But don't wine and complain about them either. And certainly don't play the Microsoft lottery. That's ridiculous.

I know you meant whine, not wine and I am not a typo nazi either. But in this instance to wine is a perfectly decent response to the complaint. To wine means use wine to move your critical MS-win based exe files to Linux and stop the upgrade treadmill.

Re:The Microsoft Lottery (1)

suck_burners_rice (1258684) | more than 6 years ago | (#23840091)

Thanks for the spelling correction. I wrote whine incorrectly (thinking that it's spelled wine) and then thought to make a Wine-related pun, but forgot. So you fixed both. :-)

The Upgrade Treadmill (1)

huckamania (533052) | more than 6 years ago | (#23840163)

Why would you want to stop upgrading your software? Usually newer versions of software are better then previous versions of software. Maybe you meant to say stop paying for upgrades?

My box is in perpetual upgrade. The xorg-x11-Xnest package can't install right and so I always have 1 available update in my tray.

Re:The Microsoft Lottery (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23839855)

if you don't like Microsoft, or their software doesn't get the job done for you, then don't pay them your money. But don't wine and complain about them either.


I don't like Windows, but need to run my Excel spreadsheets. Now that Wine just had its 1.0 release, I did intend to Wine about it.

Re:The Microsoft Lottery (5, Insightful)

RiotingPacifist (1228016) | more than 6 years ago | (#23839913)

You clearly dont have a clue about anti-competitive practices of Microsoft and how monopolies & cartels stop market forces working, meaning that "We are the ones who vote with our dollars, and so, if you don't like Microsoft, or their software doesn't get the job done for you, then don't pay them your money." doesn't really apply when there is no other option.

Re:The Microsoft Lottery (1)

wattrlz (1162603) | more than 6 years ago | (#23840223)

I don't know... does the great firewall block openoffice.org ?

Re:The Microsoft Lottery (1)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 6 years ago | (#23840335)

Clearly, there are a LOT of people that believe there is far too much software piracy going on in China. I'm not qualified to argue, but it occurs to me that if there is, nothing is lost if you try selling your product at a reasonable price rather than one that inspires piracy. If you make only 35% of what you wanted to make, but your end up with 85% less piracy, don't you actually increase profits? Sure, I made those numbers up because MS has never tried it so there is no effective examples to cite.

Point is, not reacting to the problem in a positive way will only exacerbate the issue, and in this case cause more support for Linux. Perhaps Red Flag Linux will see this as a win for themselves. It's difficult to pirate something that is free, but you can try. Perhaps Ubuntu needs to set a price on distribution to China? That inverse logic stuff.

Re:The Microsoft Lottery (2, Interesting)

Maxo-Texas (864189) | more than 6 years ago | (#23840605)

This is lost.

If they show that they can sell Windows for a profit at $20 a copy in China, it's the beginning of the end for charging $300 a copy elsewhere. The fact is that an extra copy at $1 is profitable for them.

So they want to sell all the $300 copies, then all the $200 copies, then all the ... $20 copies. To maximize their profits. So they have to manage perceptions. Folks are already balking at their quality/prices.

Re:The Microsoft Lottery (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23840527)

No other option like Linux or OSX which all the fanboys claim is superior anyways? What's the problem?

Re:The Microsoft Lottery (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23840025)

In other news, it is rumored that the Duchy of Grand Fenwick is exploring the options regarding an anti-trust action against Microsoft.

They don't need it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23840157)

In other words, China is jumping on the bandwagon of countries that is playing the "Sue Microsoft Lottery" to get some extra cash.

China has over a Trillion dollars just sitting around, that's right, with a 'T'. They need MS' money as much as they need to increase birth rates.

Re:The Microsoft Lottery (1)

King_TJ (85913) | more than 6 years ago | (#23840403)

Essentially, you're correct, but I think the motivation is closer to what another previous poster stated. China is trying to ensure they're in the best possible position, if they're going to be pushed "up against the wall" by other nations like the U.S.A. to enforce copyright law.

In countries like ours, sure, most people "pirate" a few things here and there without a lot of guilt. But if you asked the average American citizen if doing so was "wrong" or not, they'd TYPICALLY categorize it as "wrong" - with some sort of justification for doing it anyway. (EG. Well, it's not really "right".... but I did buy 10 movies already this year, so they got enough of my money. Or, "It's illegal, but that damn recording industry keeps screwing over the artists - so this is my way of getting back at them!")

I really don't think Asian cultures (Chinese, Vietnamese, etc.) think this way. They really feel that "If you're able to get a copy, then you can have a copy." As just one example, my g/f went to get her nails done recently at a Vietnamese salon. The newly released in theaters, "Iron Man", was showing on the TV for their customers to watch while they got their nails done!

Re:The Microsoft Lottery (2)

IGnatius T Foobar (4328) | more than 6 years ago | (#23840407)

In other words, China is jumping on the bandwagon of countries that is playing the "Sue Microsoft Lottery" to get some extra cash.
And I say, good for them. Microsoft has a decades-long history of lying, cheating, stealing, and generally screwing over the rest of the world in order to rake megabucks into their war chest. Therefore I have absolutely no sympathy when someone else screws them. If they want to play dirty then let the rest of the world play dirty against them. I hope the whole world has their chance to sue Microsoft for no good reason.

Re:The Microsoft Lottery (1)

Foofoobar (318279) | more than 6 years ago | (#23841079)

In this case I'd have to agree. Not a big Microsoft fan but China has never been one to really enforce anti-piracy. So now they want their cake and to eat it too? Come on. That's like telling the landlord to turn back on the heat or else your going to not pay him rent again next month.

More communist lies (2, Insightful)

sheepofblue (1106227) | more than 6 years ago | (#23839737)

No they criticize China because you are a bunch of pirating communist scum. As to price manipulation being a bad thing... from a communist country that has practiced both price controls and currency manipulation. Not to mention the closed market.... This is just a chance for China to shake MS down.

Re:More communist lies (1)

Lord_Sintra (923866) | more than 6 years ago | (#23839949)

If Windows cost $1000 in the US, how many people do you think would buy legitimate copies of it? Consider ontop of that, that people in China are much poorer, on average, and maybe you'll start to see why people pirate.

Re:More communist lies (4, Funny)

stormguard2099 (1177733) | more than 6 years ago | (#23840735)

and maybe you'll start to see why people pirate.
because there's no year of the linux desktop on the chinese calendar?

its 2008 (0, Troll)

unity100 (970058) | more than 6 years ago | (#23840039)

let go of the shitty 1950s mccarthian scare about communism already ffs.

Antitrust over the 1 copy of Windows? (5, Funny)

fprintf (82740) | more than 6 years ago | (#23839745)

So there is an anti-trust investigation over the one legitimate copy of Windows in China?

Not First Post (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23839771)

In other news Microsoft is seeking an injunction against the FOSS community for unfair competition practices. "It is entirely unfair that they offer their software at such unreasonable prices. The pricing policy of not charging users for the applications they use severely impacts our market penetration.", a Microsoft Sales Representative said.

Re:Not First Post (3, Informative)

zapakh (1256518) | more than 6 years ago | (#23840257)

In other news Microsoft is seeking an injunction against the FOSS community for unfair competition practices.
This is an old sentiment. From the Halloween Document [catb.org] of the eponymous date in 1998:

Linux distributors, such as RedHat, Caldera, and others, are expressly willing to fund full time developers who release all their work to the OSS community. By simultaneously funding these efforts, Red Hat and Caldera are implicitly colluding and believe they'll make more short term revenue by growing the Linux market rather than directly competing with each other.

no right complaining (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23839775)

When you pay $5 (if at all) for a pirated copy of Windows, you don't have the right to complain about what's bundled with it.

Why does my belly button bleeding or leaking? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23839805)

I'm not sure why could this happen? I have a big belly. I'm little bit overweight, but not very big. I was perfectly fine for two weeks until I felt a pain inside my belly button. When I look at my belly button, I saw little bit of leak, also little bit of blood are coming out, and slowly filling up at my tunnel of my belly button. One thing I hate about this, it gives some unpleasant smell. It leaves some stains at my t-shirts I was wearing everyday. I have to change my shirt MANY TIMES. I decided to check my belly button, figuring out how does it leaks. Every time, my belly squish or bend when I'm about to sit. It leaks. When I sleep (laying on the bed) It doesn't leaks. To prevent this leaking, I did some cleaning like using a cotton ball with alcohol, so the bacteria won't spread over. Then I put a small paper towel on the top of my belly button. I know I need to go to doctor to check my belly button. But I need your suggestions first. How did this happen?

err...china communist? what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23839807)

You do realise right that china ceased being communistic ages ago and they are now an oligopoly run by a few rich/powerful old men, and the odd woman. In a semi free market economy under the influence of heavy government regulaton and price fixing/controls.

Big LOL (1)

hrieke (126185) | more than 6 years ago | (#23839809)

Because we all know that the Communist party knows all about creating Monopolies.
The real question is what do they really want?

Not quite Soviet Russia, but... (1)

CompMD (522020) | more than 6 years ago | (#23839813)

In Communist China, Microsoft probes YOU!

Re:Not quite Soviet Russia, but... (1)

oahazmatt (868057) | more than 6 years ago | (#23839849)

In Communist China, Microsoft probes YOU!
Yeah, but they stole the idea from Apple's iProbe. Everyone knows that.

Re:Not quite Soviet Russia, but... (1)

GregNorc (801858) | more than 6 years ago | (#23840229)

You and I are both like guys who had this rich neighbor - Xerox - who left the door open all the time. And you go sneakin' in to steal a TV set. Only when you get there, you realize that I got there first. I got the loot, Steve! And you're yellin'? "That's not fair. I wanted to try to steal it first." You're too late.

Re:Not quite Soviet Russia, but... (1)

Stormwatch (703920) | more than 6 years ago | (#23840911)

Except Xerox actually sold Apple the aforementioned TV set.

Re:Not quite Soviet Russia, but... (1)

Alphax.au (913011) | more than 6 years ago | (#23839941)

In Communist China, Microsoft probes YOU!
I thought they did that everywhere.

In Other News... (2, Interesting)

TheBoll (300428) | more than 6 years ago | (#23839857)

... car makers bundling radios, gps, air bags and brakes within vehicles. More at 11.

Wait? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23839861)

Isn't Microsoft selling a slim version of XP on the chinese market to thwart piracy for like 5 bucks a copy?!

China, more or less evil than M$? (0, Troll)

wattrlz (1162603) | more than 6 years ago | (#23839871)

Commie software pirates vs. Monopolistic MegaCorp. Who will the people side with? Who will win?

Re:China, more or less evil than M$? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23840123)

Let's see, monopolistic software company vs. a country that's probably the #1 or #2 human rights' violators in the history of the world, then throw on all the pirated software, hackers, shittily manufactured products, and any other crap going on I didn't mention. China bad.

Take a guess (1)

dedazo (737510) | more than 6 years ago | (#23840355)

People usually side with the entity that does not throw them in jail, execute them and bill their family for the bullet.

Sorry, but where do you people come from and is it really necessary to be this stupid?

Re:Take a guess (3, Funny)

JCSoRocks (1142053) | more than 6 years ago | (#23840611)

I heard about the chair throwing, but shooting people? Balmer has gone too far!

To Quote Nelson Munce (1)

scubamage (727538) | more than 6 years ago | (#23839887)

HA HA!

Once again... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23839919)

Once again, China is just copying other countries. I bet their probe will be half the cost, too.

Step 3 of 5 to economic collapse. (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23839929)

Just another step in China's eventual bludgeoning of the American economy. First you openned the door to trade with them. Now they outproduce you, and now they seek to sue your comapnies for wrong dealings while undercutting your prices and pirating the hell out of your goods. A lot of good people saw this coming, and now we just sit back and watch the sad dance play out to its bitter end.
US trades with China.
China outproduces USA on material items.
USA moves to Intellectual Property.
China ignores IP laws except where it suits them to make money.
US economy collapses
China is new global superpower.

Re:Step 3 of 5 to economic collapse. (2, Insightful)

JCSoRocks (1142053) | more than 6 years ago | (#23840719)

True that. We survived WWII and came out on top because of our ridiculous manufacturing power and natural resources. For years we were helping the world rebuild. Then we decided we were too good for that crap and started outsourcing... Well - what'd we expect? China beat us at our own game. There are 4 times as many Chinese people, the government controls *everything*, and they don't give a crap about trashing the environment in the process of becoming a superpower. How do you compete with that? Oh, I know! IP (imaginary property)... that'll work - or not.

Re:Step 3 of 5 to economic collapse. (5, Insightful)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | more than 6 years ago | (#23840773)

My, the ignorance is breathtaking. Wishful thinking, at best.

China is *hugely* inefficient, which is mostly masked by their huge growth. One thing that you have to remember is that the Chinese economy has *never* gone down in living memory. It's all up, up, up since Mao died and the national nightmare ended. This results in things like people opening businesses with no idea what they're doing, and the business succeeds anyway due to runaway demand. I see small shops open and close all the time, and it's the same story - no plan, no strategy, no marketing. It's just 'I'll open the doors and people will flood in.' The Chinese are geniunely shocked when they don't, and can't figure out what they did wrong. Really. Massive inefficiency is a hallmark of a prolonged boom (more annoying facts again - don't worry, I won't include any math) and China has been a boom (14%+ growth) for 30 years.

The Chinese don't invent new things, which is going to really start hurting in a few years when all their low-cost manufacturing isn't low-cost any more. I see it every day, a lot of people really don't know how to solve problems except for copying someone else, even to the point of investing huge efforts into it. Just think of how much better off China would be if they had developed their own indigenous computer systems instead of just pirating Windows. And no, I have yet to see a single installation of this "Red Flag" linux that someone always spouts off about. China does in fact have IPR laws, and they do work, but you have to actually follow them. Speaking of laws, there is a new anti-monopoly law in effect this year, and it's going to be used by the government as a club to bash foreign enterprises. Of course, Chinese monopolies are safe. Remember, cheating foreigners is patriotic.

Anyway, that's just my personal experience. Feel free to keep wishing hard for America to fall and China to rise. For further reading, for those of you who made it this far, check here (true today as when it was written) [tsquare.tv] and Danwei [danwei.org] and China Law Blog [chinalawblog.com] . Sorry to inject facts into the fantasy exercise - I realize it's a downer.

The answer is ... (1)

Kingston (1256054) | more than 6 years ago | (#23839955)

A working committee of China's State Intellectual Property Office is investigating whether Microsoft engaged in discriminatory pricing
I suspect they already know the answer to this before they asked the question. This is a prelude to across the board demands for cuts in software prices. The investigation is to provide a little legitamacy to the strong arming to come.

"China's State Intellectual Property Office" (3, Funny)

damburger (981828) | more than 6 years ago | (#23839997)

That just gave me the best chuckle I've had all day

Reminds me of a saying... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23840009)

"Organized crime doesn't exist in China, the government doesn't like the competition"

How about a very different possibility? (3, Funny)

Enlarged to Show Tex (911413) | more than 6 years ago | (#23840101)

Perhaps this is a prelude to the Chinese government looking to do something better with American dollars than have them sitting in US government debt. If the Party were looking to buy out Microsoft, they could really have the rest of the world bent over a barrel, enjoying a tremendous amount of control over anyone that uses MS software.

Not only that, it finally gives the BSA the power it's looking for - let's hear it for the Chinese military fighting the BSA's battles to defend Microsoft's owners and their IP...

oxymoron (3, Insightful)

pak9rabid (1011935) | more than 6 years ago | (#23840145)

China's State Intellectual Property Office
Now there's an oxymoron if I've seen one

For the Manufacturers? (1)

introspekt.i (1233118) | more than 6 years ago | (#23840379)

Perhaps this really isn't about the end user in China at all, rather it's about computer Chinese computer manufacturers that are being forced to sell their systems bundled with Windows and being gouged at it. China does seem to make just about anything (and everything). I'd think that since end users in China just seem to pirate the 'doze already, the real losers in China are legitimate computer manufacturers who 'lose' tons of money buying licenses to bundle with their machines. It's government looking out industry. A classic maneuver in most any country.

Pot meet Kettle, Kettle meet Pot. (1)

CHK6 (583097) | more than 6 years ago | (#23840389)

So China is investigating Miscrosoft for dominating software like China dominates it's civilian population. And the only problem with monopolies in a communist country is the monopoly doesn't belong to the government, else the government would say their monopoly best interests the people. {This is where the laughing icon gets inserted.}

Anything... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23840439)

Anything against Microsoft = I agree :) Let's go China!

Misleading comparison (3, Informative)

DigitalCrackPipe (626884) | more than 6 years ago | (#23840531)

cost much more in China than in the U.S.
What? Prices are much lower in China, since few there can afford the prices charged in the US (consider the cheap version of XP designed for poorer markets). What they mean is that the prices are higher relative to the mean income, which is a completely different statement.

HA! HA Ha HA ha ha! (1)

LoudMusic (199347) | more than 6 years ago | (#23840607)

China? HA HA! Microsoft? BUHAH HA HAAA! China and Microsoft. This is seriously funny.

On a slightly more serious note, I think the people attacking Microsoft's "monopoly" position are out of line. Not only are there alternatives, like OS X, but there are FREE alternatives that clearly produce similar results, like the many flavors of Linux including Ubuntu. Furthermore, Microsoft products don't force you to use more Microsoft products, it's just generally more efficient if you do. But that's the case with any market, even kitchen appliances, car parts, and oral hygiene to name a few.

If everyone would just leave Microsoft alone they'll likely destroy themselves - look at Vista.

Mod me as Troll if you will (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23840619)

But just like with the EU, this is will be nothing more than an attempt to extort money from successful American corporations. I know /. hates MS, but any sincere customer centric resolution to anti-trust *outside* of the corpration's home country would be done diplomatically with that countries government.

This made me happy. (1)

Aphoxema (1088507) | more than 6 years ago | (#23840881)

Does this mean a government that actually has the balls to do something about Microsoft without discussing how much it can hurt their business or allowing lobbyists and interests groups to undermine the legal system is finally going after them?

The best part about this is we won't have to wait 3 years to see where this goes.

hg (1)

dadatianpu (1309897) | more than 6 years ago | (#23840937)

hg

You know your doing somethin wrong when... (1, Insightful)

Q-Hack! (37846) | more than 6 years ago | (#23840979)

The axis of evil calls your business model evil.

laughable (1)

v3xt0r (799856) | more than 6 years ago | (#23841011)

"A 'working' committee of China's State Intellectual Property Office"

When did China get a 'State Intellectual Property Office'? and at what point was it decided that it was 'working'? and, just what has China contributed to Intellectual Property, anyhow, aside from espionage or piracy?

Also... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23841035)

Editors write confusing title Vs. Readers

Antitrut probe (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23841059)

Antitrust probe?
What a Joke!
    On which of the millions of pirated copies of Microsoft OS ?
You can Buy XP pro in many languages without need for activation in Shanghai for $1.00 or less if you haggle and you know where to find it,.

Antitrust what?
on which of few legit copies is that ?
IMHO: I'm no friend of Microsoft, but for the commies to say antitrust over their rampant piracy is plain Bullshit, Commie Bullshit!!

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