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Chinese Government Probes Microsoft For Breaches of Monopoly Law

timothy posted about 3 months ago | from the no-one-votes-libertarian-in-china dept.

China 110

DroidJason1 writes The Chinese government is investigating Microsoft for possible breaches of anti-monopoly laws, following a series of surprise visits to Redmond's offices in cities across China on Monday. These surprise visits were part of China's ongoing investigation [warning: WSJ paywall], and were based on security complaints about Microsoft's Windows operating system and Office productivity suite. Results from an earlier inspection apparently were not enough to clear Microsoft of suspicion of anti-competitive behavior. Microsoft's alleged anti-monopoly behavior is a criminal matter, so if found guilty, the software giant could face steep fines as well as other sanctions.

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Pot - Kettle (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47572089)

This is like being accused of overeating by the world's biggest fat man.

Queen of Hearts (1)

mdsolar (1045926) | about 3 months ago | (#47572343)

`Leave off that!' screamed the Queen. `You make me giddy.' And then, turning to the rose-tree, she went on, `What HAVE you been doing here?'

`May it please your Majesty,' said Two, in a very humble tone, going down on one knee as he spoke, `we were trying--'

`I see!' said the Queen, who had meanwhile been examining the roses. `Off with their heads!'

Security (1)

Etherwalk (681268) | about 2 months ago | (#47574601)

This is like being accused of overeating by the world's biggest fat man.

Yes, it is. It is about security rather than monopoly. Both discouraging Chinese citizens from using Microsoft (this lets state media trash talk them for a little while) and trying to get their hands on source code or other references to flaws in the OS.

Re:Security (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47576303)

Oh please, if that is what they wanted they wouldn't make so much fuss. Some agents would get jobs working for Microsoft and dig out the information, just like they do in the rest of the world.

Re:Pot - Kettle (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47577139)

Except that Microsoft doesn't give a rat's ass for a billion people in the free world. How much less do they regard the unfree world?

So... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47572093)

Huawei, ZTE, or Red Flag linux are all fine as 'monopolies', but M$ is the big bad company?

I don't like M$ either, but hearing the pot call the kettle black just rankles my fur.

Re:So... (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47572133)

Huawei, ZTE, or Red Flag linux are all fine as 'monopolies',

Except that none of these are monopolies. In fact, they are not even market leaders.

Re:So... (1)

linearZ (710002) | about 3 months ago | (#47572377)

They aren't monopolies, just all subsidiaries of the same organization.

Re:So... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47572151)

If you steal the product you sell, then you aren't a monopoly.

Re:So... (1)

kelemvor4 (1980226) | about 2 months ago | (#47574093)

If you steal the product you sell, then you aren't a monopoly.

I guess Microsoft has nothing to fear in that case.

Re:So... (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about 3 months ago | (#47572415)

I don't get it, how are any of those companies monopolies or behaving monopolistically? certainly funny that you include a niche, even in china, linux distro there.

but MS is kind of fucked here. if they hired chinese to run the business then sure, they used dirty tactics to keep making money, because that's "business" for them and probably never occurred to them to not bribe someone against using red flag linux vs. a ms product.

Re:So... (5, Insightful)

Dutch Gun (899105) | about 3 months ago | (#47572565)

I'll bet the Chinese government took a page from the EU and figured out it could levy whatever the hell sort of fines it wants against these tech giants, and they'll probably just eat it as a part of the cost of doing business. That is, so long as they don't fine them more than it's worthwhile to do business there, because of course, said company would simply say "screw you" and leave. They figured that a charge of "Microsoft is a monopoly!" would work just fine, since that's been bandied about in the West so much already. You watch - I wouldn't be surprised if MS is going to get a nice, hefty fine levied against them, but probably not so much that they'll contemplate pulling out of China's market completely. Nothing like a government-sponsored extortion racket.

The other possibility is, like the linked article implies, that this is part of the government's push for technological self-reliance, and a move to start pushing their own operating systems and squeeze MS out of the picture. We've seen that with Google pretty clearly already. Or, maybe it's a bit of both - a way to squeeze a bit more cash out of the tech giants before eventually pushing them out altogether.

Hard to say, really. China is a mystery wrapped in an enigma to most westerners like myself.

Re:So... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47572675)

I would guess the last option is the most likely.
Sure, they can fine Microsoft just to get some extra cash and Microsoft is likely to just pay. While the Chinese market isn't as big as EU yet it is probably worth it to stay in the market even at no profit at all, but the sums are probably not large enough for China to cause a ruckus over.

On the other hand I can see China being worried about Microsofts strong hold over computers and their base in the US. There isn't really anything that prevents NSA from forcing Microsoft to report in the computers search index or whatever they find interesting when they phone home to ask for updates. Having access to every companies business plan and internal costs gives a pretty good advantage in business negotiations.
From that perspective it makes a lot of sense to try to get rid of Microsofts dominance.

Re:So... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47573191)

Even if this were true, MS wouldn't want to lose a customer base which is approximately double that of the US and Canada combined.

Re:So... (1)

cyber-vandal (148830) | about 2 months ago | (#47573231)

The EU didn't just "levy" a fine, Microsoft were found guilty in a court of law and spent years appealing and then refusing to comply with the judgement leading to their fine being massively increased.

Re:So... (1)

Dutch Gun (899105) | about 2 months ago | (#47573351)

I perhaps worded it poorly, as I didn't mean to imply the EU judgement was necessarily without merit. Rather, I'm simply implying that the Chinese government may have been looking at the end result of Microsoft's and Google's cases (i.e. paying large fines to the EU), and could have seen that as a lucrative opportunity, either economically, politically, or both.

Re:So... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47574709)

Yes after all the monopolist charge with Microsoft was proved in EU so collect fine is obvious.

Re: So... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47573285)

Good. I don't see why the USA should have a monopoly on fining companies. You have fined European banks billions and let your own banks off the hook for pennies. I hope China fine your asses off. Hyprocrites.

Re: So... (1)

DigiShaman (671371) | about 2 months ago | (#47573901)

...and they were finally expended and discarded like a used husk.

China and their government isn't a mystery, enigma, or anything of the such. Due to the Cultural Revolution, their entire society was "rebooted". As such, both nationally and culturally, the modern Chinese are younger than America! The government further reflects this with rampant corruption and the two-faced attitude that comes from it. Today they 're your best friend; tomorrow they stab you in the back. That's China!

Re:So... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47573275)

I don't get it, how are any of those companies monopolies or behaving monopolistically? certainly funny that you include a niche, even in china, linux distro there.

but MS is kind of fucked here. if they hired chinese to run the business then sure, they used dirty tactics to keep making money, because that's "business" for them and probably never occurred to them to not bribe someone against using red flag linux vs. a ms product.

Microsoft never had problems using dirty tactics, they did that very well on 100% american hands. You sound kinda racist.

Re:So... (1)

AHuxley (892839) | about 3 months ago | (#47572429)

Two multinational telecommunications brands and a Linux distribution vs a PRISM?
Like many nations, best to go with your own staff, code, hardware and software long term. Too many eyes with the costly imports.

So China is going to do (5, Insightful)

0xdeaddead (797696) | about 3 months ago | (#47572117)

what the DOJ failed to do.

Re:So China is going to do (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47572167)

You mean a public shakedown?

Re:So China is going to do (2)

sg_oneill (159032) | about 3 months ago | (#47572181)

what the DOJ failed to do.

Well not quite. The DOJ proposed splitting microsoft in half. Chinas solution to corruption tends to involve ventilating the CEOs brain with lead, 15 minutes after the judge declares "Fuck this guy!".

The only one who seemed to be advocating caping bill G here was probably ESR, because ESR is kind of a mentalist (RMS doesnt do guns)

Re:So China is going to do (4, Funny)

Khyber (864651) | about 3 months ago | (#47572215)

RMS doesn't do guns because only one or two are open-source, and he's seen the code and knows they're shitty.

Re:So China is going to do (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47572247)

Wrong. He doesn't do open-source. If only they were free now.

Re:So China is going to do (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 2 months ago | (#47573723)

RMS doesn't do guns because only one or two are open-source, and he's seen the code and knows they're shitty.

The 1911 is Open Source today, you can literally download blueprints for every part of the weapon. It's one of the best-loved and best-performing firearms of all time. It does require the use of appropriate ammunition, but the openness of the design has permitted developers to adapt it to several different types.

Re:So China is going to do (1)

halivar (535827) | about 2 months ago | (#47574269)

So, non-free dependencies? Not on my watch!

Re:So China is going to do (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 2 months ago | (#47574349)

So, non-free dependencies? Not on my watch!

The specifications for the required ammunition are well-known. The stuff is harder to make than the firearm, however. For that to differ you'll have to use something substantially higher- or lower-tech, e.g. caseless or black powder. And caseless ammo is only easier to produce if you disregard the difficulty of producing a practical propellant.

Re:So China is going to do (0)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about 2 months ago | (#47574231)

what the DOJ failed to do.

Well not quite. The DOJ proposed splitting microsoft in half. Chinas solution to corruption tends to involve ventilating the CEOs brain with lead, 15 minutes after the judge declares "Fuck this guy!".

The only one who seemed to be advocating caping bill G here was probably ESR, because ESR is kind of a mentalist (RMS doesnt do guns)

The Chinese officials, like the US officials, are more interested in kickbacks. All this "anti-monopoly" stuff is meme pap for consumption by voters.

It's the way things have gone through history. Just the wrappers change, to obfuscate it and feign justification. Microsoft learned, and now donates vast sums in US elections.

System working as intended...by the politicians. We get in the way so we can get paid to get back out of the way. This rule of thumb has never failed.

Re:So China is going to do (4, Insightful)

s.petry (762400) | about 2 months ago | (#47574019)

The DOJ did not fail to convict Microsoft of being an illegal monopoly, they failed to _PUNISH_ them after they were found guilty. Microsoft paid lobbyists to convince congress that breaking them apart (as was done with AT&T) would cause further economic collapse. Yeah yeah, so much for the separation of powers...

It was not just the DOJ that failed to punish MS. Several states had similar successful trials where MS was found guilty, and the payout from MS was "free MS products for Education and Government" for N years ( in some cases 5 years ). I wrote numerous articles and papers back then explaining how this was not a punishment, but obviously a method of further entrenching their monopoly.

Re:So China is going to do (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47574305)

+1

I REALLY think that we'd have been MUCH better off with 2 M$s. One of them might've actually come up with some good stuff.

Instead we're getting the same old shit, and their idea of "innovation" is to take what looks like some HS GUI exploration project that received an F in all categories...

For a while there, not having used a M$ tablet/phone I had the brief delusion that it MIGHT be good on a touch screen, but since having used a M$ touch screen device found to be as shit on a touchscreen as it was for desktops/notebooks...

Re:So China is going to do (2)

rahvin112 (446269) | about 2 months ago | (#47575223)

The trial phase of Microsoft was during the Clinton Administration. The Penalty phase took place during the Bush Admin and the US attorney was changed by the president. The new attorney threw out all the possible mitigation the previous US attorney had developed.

Why Microsoft was never effectively punished should be obvious.

Re:So China is going to do (1)

s.petry (762400) | about 2 months ago | (#47575959)

Which trial are you referring to exactly? As I stated, MS was found guilty numerous times ant there were several separate cases tried under Bush which were all successful. The first BIG trial was under Clinton, and Bush blocked (technically heavily influenced) more Federal trials.

I'm sorry to be the grammar Nazi... (4, Insightful)

Calavar (1587721) | about 3 months ago | (#47572129)

...but seriously, who writes this stuff?

following a series of surprise visits to Redmond's offices in cities across China on Monday

While I understand that this is metonymy, it's confusing as hell because at first read "Redmond's offices" == "Microsoft's offices in Redmond."

Timothy! It's NewSpeak. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47572185)

He's also working on the next editions of the NewSpeak dictionary; Less words, easy to remember. Double plus good eh!

Re:I'm sorry to be the grammar Nazi... (2)

Anubis IV (1279820) | about 3 months ago | (#47572345)

Agreed. I suspect they thought they were being clever in using it to refer to them in this context, but it's only a clever turn of phrase until it gets in the way of understanding it easily.

Re:I'm sorry to be the grammar Nazi... (1)

Sockatume (732728) | about 3 months ago | (#47572741)

Y'arr, synecdoche be a harsh mistress.

Re:I'm sorry to be the grammar Nazi... (1)

gewalker (57809) | about 3 months ago | (#47573075)

I must be one of those grammar Nazi's too, because I laughed at this joke.

Re:I'm sorry to be the grammar Nazi... (2)

aNonnyMouseCowered (2693969) | about 3 months ago | (#47572927)

Technically you're style Nazi. Figures of speech aren't covered by grammar.

Re:I'm sorry to be the grammar Nazi... (1)

rhazz (2853871) | about 2 months ago | (#47573705)

The only reason I even opened this discussion was to complain about the same thing. I think Slashdot is making me a bad person.

donate to the Communist Party today (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47572143)

Fines, out-of-court settlements, what's the difference?

Monopoly Claims Are Only A Cover Story (5, Insightful)

rsmith-mac (639075) | about 3 months ago | (#47572145)

Unsurprisingly, the monopoly claims are only a cover story for other policy issues with China. As TFA even points out:

China confirmed it is investigating whether Microsoft Corp. broke its antimonopoly laws, the latest sign of growing commercial and policy tensions between the U.S. and China that are roiling technology companies in both countries.

The investigation represents a new friction point between the countries following disclosures about U.S. National Security Agency surveillance and revelations of hacking of U.S. networks by China's military.

"There's a digital Cold War going on between the U.S. and China," said Alvin Kwock, an analyst with J.P. Morgan.

"The Chinese government has seized on using the [antimonopoly law] to promote Chinese producer welfare and to advance industrial policies that nurture domestic enterprises," the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which represents major U.S. corporations,wrote in an April letter to federal officials.

Unfortunately for Microsoft, they likely would have been better off actually breaking the law, because at least that would result in a trial over the truth (and some ill-gotten gains in the process). Instead, because this is a political maneuver by the Chinese, Microsoft is being used as a scapegoat here. Any resulting punishment for Microsoft will be based on the state of Sino-American relations and whether China wants to harm the US by proxy. Which given how things currently stand, MS is looking rather screwed.

Re:Monopoly Claims Are Only A Cover Story (3, Insightful)

Nyder (754090) | about 3 months ago | (#47572207)

...

Unfortunately for Microsoft, they likely would have been better off actually breaking the law, because at least that would result in a trial over the truth (and some ill-gotten gains in the process). Instead, because this is a political maneuver by the Chinese, Microsoft is being used as a scapegoat here. Any resulting punishment for Microsoft will be based on the state of Sino-American relations and whether China wants to harm the US by proxy. Which given how things currently stand, MS is looking rather screwed.

And most of us here feel really bad for MS getting fucked over, after they've fucked over so many others.

I don't believe in karma, but if I did, this is a prime example of karma.

Re:Monopoly Claims Are Only A Cover Story (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47573451)

They should sue MS for Metro. That's certainly a crime against humanity!

Re:Monopoly Claims Are Only A Cover Story (1)

Anne Thwacks (531696) | about 2 months ago | (#47573625)

They should sue MS for Metro.

Only after a prolonged (or possibly multi-pronged) anal probing.

Re:Monopoly Claims Are Only A Cover Story (1)

johanw (1001493) | about 3 months ago | (#47572213)

Since the US is run by companies and 3-letter agencies I would not call it exactly "by proxy".

Screwing MS may be a Good Thing(tm) ! (2)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47572267)

MS is looking rather screwed

As no one has yet be able to screw MS since its inception, and as MS has screwed so many others throughout its own history --- it may be a good thing that MS finally getting that BIG SCREW that it so deserves !

Re:Monopoly Claims Are Only A Cover Story (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47572359)

You mean, just like how the US Govt screwed over Huawei? What a surprise!

Re:Monopoly Claims Are Only A Cover Story (1)

dilvish_the_damned (167205) | about 3 months ago | (#47572407)

In my experience, one should always read the tea leaves or die. The more someone has to lose the better the intelligence gathering should be. As big as Microsofts interests are in China, Microsoft should have had fair warning that this was to happen. Hardly anything is really a secret. To me, the lose proposition is that they did not seem fit to do anything about it before it happened.

And yes, I am aware of all the complications of doing the job. Thats what makes it special. And inexcusable for Microsoft. Keep doing more of that, keep losing.

Re:Monopoly Claims Are Only A Cover Story (1)

Bing Tsher E (943915) | about 3 months ago | (#47573197)

So you're saying Microsoft needs to play a more political game, keep an eye on government, and be prepared to respond and manipulate as needed? You're saying they've not done a 'good enough' job of that in China?

How disappointing.

Re:Monopoly Claims Are Only A Cover Story (1)

AHuxley (892839) | about 3 months ago | (#47572417)

Re 'being used as a scapegoat here"
If the encryption is weak and is shared with a few govs its better for China to walk away from all tame US products and start again withe their own code and software solutions.

Re:Monopoly Claims Are Only A Cover Story (3, Interesting)

Stuarticus (1205322) | about 3 months ago | (#47572801)

Unfortunately for Microsoft, they likely would have been better off actually breaking the law,

Who says they didn't? Your quote from the chamber of commerce (a business lobbying group, wonder where their interests lie) seems to imply they are using anti-monopoly laws to encourage competition, isn't that kind of the point?

Re:Monopoly Claims Are Only A Cover Story (1)

Nemyst (1383049) | about 2 months ago | (#47574335)

Not to encourage competition, to encourage THEIR horse in the race. You can be fucking sure that if it were a Chinese corporation with the monopoly (a real one), they'd be heralded as champions of Chinese ingenuity or something.

Re:Monopoly Claims Are Only A Cover Story (4, Insightful)

jodido (1052890) | about 2 months ago | (#47573945)

All the claims that this is "political" come from Americans, or are uncited. "The latest sign of growing...tensions" according to whom? "...a new friction point..." according to whom? "... said Alvin Kwock, AN ANALYST WITH J.P. MORGAN" [caps added by me]. How about what China thinks? I have no doubt Microsoft broke Chinese laws. Why should Chinese laws be different? And thereby set themselves up to be prosecuted.

Anti-monopoly behavior? (1)

LostMyBeaver (1226054) | about 3 months ago | (#47572159)

So... it's apparently a criminal matter in China to be against monopolies? WTF?

Re:Anti-monopoly behavior? (1)

The Evil Atheist (2484676) | about 3 months ago | (#47572177)

Why wouldn't it? China's been slowiy trialing with freeing up the market bit by bit. Even for a autocratic single-party system, they understand they cannot let any single organization, whether they're private or state-owned to be in complete control.

Re:Anti-monopoly behavior? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47572299)

Why wouldn't it? China's been slowiy trialing with freeing up the market bit by bit. Even for a autocratic single-party system, they understand they cannot let any single organization, whether they're private or state-owned to be in complete control.

Have you heard of the Communist Party of China?

Re:Anti-monopoly behavior? (1)

The Evil Atheist (2484676) | about 3 months ago | (#47572521)

Why wouldn't it? China's been slowiy trialing with freeing up the market bit by bit. Even for a autocratic single-party system, they understand they cannot let any single organization, whether they're private or state-owned to be in complete control.

Have you heard of the Communist Party of China?

Have you studied how China actually works rather than this nightmare version that economists who haven't even been to China are scaring you with?

Re:Anti-monopoly behavior? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47572313)

Yes, because this clearly has to do with monopolies and not at all a consequence of Microsoft cooperating with NSA and reporting in that search index they build or whatever they do when they phone home.

Re:Anti-monopoly behavior? (1)

alexander_686 (957440) | about 2 months ago | (#47573233)

It is not about the NSA, it is about Windows XP. Windows XP (the pirated version) dominates the market. Microsoft has withdrawn support, which leaves China in a bit of a pickle. I am sure this will all go away if Microsoft would just start supporting XP again or China bought a couple of million of Windows 8 licenses.

It's Been a Few Years (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47572171)

since MS has been slapped with anti-trust. It's well past due. The delay is probably due to fucking up every OS since XP rather than MS improving their business practices.

So.. who is microsoft competing with? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47572187)

Nothing can stop the government or the people to switch to Linux or Mac OS. How is Microsoft Anti competitive here? Because they don't allow others to make copy of their OS? I would think that's normal, to protect your IP.
China is obviously just looking to steal data from Microsoft here.

Re:So.. who is microsoft competing with? (1)

TechyImmigrant (175943) | about 3 months ago | (#47572321)

It's not the OS, it's the closed office file formats you insensitive dolt!

Re:So.. who is microsoft competing with? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47572673)

docx [ecma-international.org]
doc [microsoft.com]

Re:So.. who is microsoft competing with? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47573053)

Neither of which is MS fully compliant with.

Why else does MS software have so much trouble with being compatible with itself?

Re:So.. who is microsoft competing with? (2)

Insanity Defense (1232008) | about 2 months ago | (#47574027)

Did you follow how DOCX came to be "standardized"? Specifically the scandalous way they manipulated the ISO standards process?

How about the parts of the standard that say things like "Do it like Office 9x does" without defining how that is? A "standard" that is not fully defined and which Microsoft itself has yet to fully and compliantly implement.

Then there are other things like MS coming up with their own way to define leap years which results in disagreement with the existing international standards for what and when a leap year is.

Good... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47572193)

these Microsoft fuckers need to go down.

Re:Good... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47572233)

You sound sort of like a worthless shitstain.

Re:Good... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47572241)

You can tell, from only eight words? Amazing.

Re:Good... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47572445)

Little fuck wits like you need to be put through the chipper and fed to pigs so they can shit you out.

The Chinese are playing... (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47572289)

The Chinese are playing "Lets fuck with the rich American company." I hear it's very popular in Europe.

Re:The Chinese are playing... (3, Insightful)

The Evil Atheist (2484676) | about 3 months ago | (#47572531)

It's much better than the traditional story of "Let this rich American company fuck with this other country because fuck it we're 'Murican".

Re:The Chinese are playing... (3, Insightful)

serviscope_minor (664417) | about 3 months ago | (#47572857)

Whoever modded this insightful is an idiot.

The EU takes a very dim view on abusive companies, local or foreign. Whining because the company is American just means you get to whine twice. Once because the evil Europeans are harming the benevolent rich american companies and once more because you have shitty phone contracts that massively suck, unlike in the EU, where they dealt with those *local* companies.

Re:The Chinese are playing... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47573567)

Of course our local British troll and X.org zealot "Servitroll_Major" chimes in. Sorry, Sir Troll. The sheer stupidity behind the EU browser choice fiasco has already proven that your neck of the woods is full of idiots.

So ? (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47572317)

So all six people in China who purchased software from Microsoft get a full refund and an apology?

Sounds like a 'nothing to see here' storey to me.

Unfair !!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47572325)

Microsoft did a great job by letting business users playing with their computer.

Microsoft also contributed in fighting pollution in a lot of Chinese sites, like this one :
Depolluted Chinese site by Microsoft [youtube.com]

Chinese Government Probes Microsoft For Breaches.. (1)

sonamchauhan (587356) | about 3 months ago | (#47572379)

... read this and thought this was a hacking-related article

By Monopoly Do they Mean... (1)

linearZ (710002) | about 3 months ago | (#47572413)

...Microsoft didn't share the source code?

I'm no Microsoft fan, but this is what bothering to do business with China gets us. China with its essentially a rigged economy based on something close to slave labor. The only way to compete economically with that is to become that. The cheap shit at Walmart just ain't worth it.

Have you actually been to China? (2, Informative)

sjbe (173966) | about 2 months ago | (#47573345)

China with its essentially a rigged economy based on something close to slave labor.

And you know this how exactly? I've actually been to China whereas you pretty clearly have not. Slave labor? 'Fraid not. China has a lot of people and so thanks to supply and demand, wages are relatively low there. (but rising fast) Yes the Chinese government has a hand in everything but there are plenty of places in the US and EU economies where free trade does not exist and the government is heavily involved. Agriculture, weapons manufacturing, Boeing/Airbus, satellites, automobiles, and many more.

The only way to compete economically with that is to become that.

Your argument would be more credible if the US and EU didn't have manufacturing sectors equal to or larger than China's manufacturing sector. Cheap labor is only helpful for products that have a high labor content. Lots of products require relatively little labor or require specialized labor that isn't cheap anywhere. I have a stamping press in my plant for making wire leads. Operating this press requires some of skilled labor to set up and then it is all automated. No amount of cheap labor from China can undercut us on price, we're fast and we can pay our people good wages too. There are some products we can't compete with China on and there are some products China can't compete with us on. The trick is knowing which is which.

Re:Have you actually been to China? (0)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 2 months ago | (#47573739)

Slave labor? 'Fraid not.

The Chinese government itself literally operates labor camps where criminals are forced to produce consumer goods.

Your argument would be more credible

You clearly do not decide who is credible when you say that slave labor is not slave labor.

Re:Have you actually been to China? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47575145)

Slave labor? 'Fraid not.

The Chinese government itself literally operates labor camps where criminals are forced to produce consumer goods.

Your argument would be more credible

You clearly do not decide who is credible when you say that slave labor is not slave labor.

You do realise the US does exactly this as well, and the prisons are corporations, and America even has more prisoners.
Talk about pot calling the kettle black.
China's minimum wages are going up and up every year, but Americas falling every year.
Posting ac as I spent all my mod points before reading this complete rubbish.

Re:Have you actually been to China? (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 2 months ago | (#47575337)

You do realise the US does exactly this as well, and the prisons are corporations, and America even has more prisoners.

And? I didn't say the US didn't have any of these elements. I said that China did.

Posting ac as I spent all my mod points before reading this complete rubbish.

I note you didn't actually disagree with me. Obviously it isn't complete rubbish.

Re:Have you actually been to China? (1)

linearZ (710002) | about 2 months ago | (#47575803)

You do realise the US does exactly this as well, and the prisons are corporations, and America even has more prisoners.

This is rubbish. China has more slaves than US has prisoners.

The US has very few prisons which operate as factories. Nearly all that do, pay wages. These prisons are usually more desirable for prisoners because it allows them learn skills and to bank money while incarcerated. China just has forced labor, no pay. They call it "re-education".

Re:Have you actually been to China? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47578547)

You do realise the US does exactly this as well, and the prisons are corporations, and America even has more prisoners.

This is rubbish. China has more slaves than US has prisoners.

The US has very few prisons which operate as factories. Nearly all that do, pay wages. These prisons are usually more desirable for prisoners because it allows them learn skills and to bank money while incarcerated. China just has forced labor, no pay. They call it "re-education".

LOL US has more prisoners than anywhere in the world, more than China, with only a 1/4 of the population.

Corporate prisons that pay normal wages, I just about fell out of my wheelchair reading that.

Re:Have you actually been to China? (1)

linearZ (710002) | about 2 months ago | (#47575669)

And you know this how exactly?

There are a lot of sources. The one is quite credible credible: http://www.globalslaveryindex.... [globalslaveryindex.org]

The global slavery index only includes people that are known to be slaves. This doesn't include the mass amounts of dormitory employees that, due to economic conditions manufactured by the government, work for nearly nothing and can't afford to live outside their factory camps.

Your argument would be more credible if the US and EU didn't have manufacturing sectors equal to or larger than China's manufacturing sector.

So you are saying that slave labor is OK because China's economy isn't as big as the US and EU?

I have a stamping press in my plant for making wire leads. Operating this press requires some of skilled labor to set up and then it is all automated. No amount of cheap labor from China can undercut us on price, we're fast and we can pay our people good wages too.

Have you been to China and seen what those factories look like? They too have automated systems, its just the people setting it up are working below US minimum wage. China can get people to work far cheaper. The Chinese can duplicate just about anything designed and built in the US or anywhere else. The materials are cheaper because China has far less concern for how they treat the environment, and the supply chain also has equally cheap labor and, essentially, vertical integration.

There is no trick. It is simply a race to the bottom. And North America is being led into this race by a Communist country who for years had stated it was bent on destroying capitalist systems. We'd be best to leave China alone. Unfortunately, greed (Walmart profit margins) and some skewed dogma about "specialized labor" is making it difficult for most to see the big picture here.

I urge anyone that gets the chance to visit factories in China to take it. It really is an eye opener and will change your opinion, if you are one to think US manufacturing is safe because we "work smarter".

Re:By Monopoly Do they Mean... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47575159)

...Microsoft didn't share the source code?

Microsoft didn't allow them to install back doors in the Chinese version of Windows, or other MS products sold around the world.

Meanwhile in the US (1)

l0ungeb0y (442022) | about 3 months ago | (#47572467)

Microsoft, Oracle et al seed "insider info" to Congress-Critters who recently legalized Insider Trading by Congress Critters after they were caught with their hands in the "Insider Trading Cookie Jar" en mass, courtesy the H1-B Visa Gang and other Lobbyist Groups but we can all rest assured, that the majoritywere tech stcoks 'cause they are HOT HOT HOT. Why aren't we killing the heads of State to preserve our way of life?

Bet Google is glad they got out of China years ago (4, Insightful)

TheEyes (1686556) | about 3 months ago | (#47572471)

Frankly, anyone who does business in China should come to expect this. Stories abound about how Chinese companies "compete" with foreign companies in China: you wake up one day and find out half your manufacturing and IT infrastructure is "missing", some of which returns in a few weeks, and then three months later a new, Chinese-owned factory opens up down the street, making products that look exactly like yours minus the brand names and serial numbers, which just happen to have great contacts with the Chinese government so that factory ends up with all the lucrative government and commercial contracts while your company just continues to bleed money on its "China strategy".

This is just the next step, for companies like Microsoft and Apple that rely on their brand to sell product despite having government-owned knockoffs everywhere. A foreign company managing to actually compete with an honest Chinese company? Why, they must be cheating. And we will find cheating, whether or not it exists, and take what's rightfully ours, that is, anything that ever touches Chinese soil.

karma again (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47573411)

China is doing what the west did in its day. E.g. if the orient had valuable plants we would sneak them out and grow them ourselves; if the French had movie technology we'd copy it and build our own industry. Of course these days we would NEVER take another person's secrets, and NEVER have unequal trade practices. /sarcasm

Re:karma again (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47578275)

China is doing what the west did in its day.

Not precisely. We didn't agree to respect the "rights" of farmers to farm their plants, and we didn't agree to respect the rights of European inventors or artists for the longest time. They responded by refusing to sell to the United States. We realized this wasn't the greatest idea, so eventually we got IP law ironed out to the mutual benefit of both parties.

And, wait - didn't China agree to respect American IP? Except they don't?

Mod parent down.

Funny (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47572699)

I read the title as "Chinese government probes MICROBES for breaches of monopoly law...".
How appropriate.

Remember that scene in the Dark Knight when... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47572845)

...Bruce Wayne admits that he only started to form a deal with Lau so that he could get a look at his books to see what he was really up to? This may be like that. Remember that anyone who gets anywhere in China is in bed with the CPC or at least the appropriate government officials--you don't get anywhere unless you pay off the right people---and that many businesses have links in the government. This may be an attempt to pry info out of MS so that it can be used to pump up a Chinese company.

Western companies keep trying to do business in China like it is a developing but Western nation. It is not. The corruption runs deep, deep and is vertically integrated in ways Western businesses somehow fail to understand. (Can't they get someone who has lived in China for a while on their advisory board?!?) The system is stacked against them. They cannot win because the game is rigged. Even if they play by the rules, the rules will be changed to be against them eventually, when someone pays off the right officials or a new company has a family connection to the right officials. At that point, they lose because they have no recourse. The Chinese government is accountable to no one. There are no courts to fight in because those are controlled by the same people who changed the rules.

Re:Remember that scene in the Dark Knight when... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47573079)

Plus it would get MS in legal trouble in the US - It is illegal for MS to try to bribe foreign governments.

MS is already a monopoly, and in several continents. Very likely they are guilty of whatever they get charged with...

How much can Microsoft lose? (1)

satuon (1822492) | about 3 months ago | (#47572877)

Do they make a lot of profits from China? With all the piracy and all, their offices in China might be more for symbolic presence than because they're making money in that country.

modulates.com (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47572885)

Lots of advertisers use modulates because they are keen to get involved in Video commerce.

Pfffft! That's, like, SO 90's (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47573247)

nt

Thanks for the "paywall" warning (1)

Andover Chick (1859494) | about 2 months ago | (#47573459)

Kudos to the authors for the "paywall" warning (I realize this digresses from the article). I detest clicking on a link, especially from a Google News, and landing on an annoying paywall.

Re:Thanks for the "paywall" warning (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47573689)

#firstworldproblems

Finally! (1)

jfdavis668 (1414919) | about 2 months ago | (#47573471)

Microsoft will be forced to unbundle Internet Explorer from Windows 95!
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