Microsoft offices from Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Chengdu have been unexpectedly visited by the Chinese State Administration for Industry & Commerce, according to a report from Reuters. A spokesperson for the company has confirmed the visit, but declined to give a reason for the inspection ‘outside of working hours’.
The company is said to have become a target for the Chinese government since former U.S. National Security Agency contractor, Edward Snowden, revealed the various spying programs enforced by the agency, including PRISM. However, Microsoft states that its goal is to provide quality products, security and reliability to customers.
“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 company’s spokesperson stated.
The Chinese state media have been out to get American tech firms since the NSA leaks went online, calling for “severe punishment” for companies found to be helping the U.S. government steal secrets and monitor the country’s activities. Microsoft’s OneDrive has even been targeted by activists this month, having its services disrupted in China.
Further anti-U.S. activities have been stated to be present in central government offices, where the Chinese have banned installing and/or using Windows 8 on new computers. The ban has been stated to still be in effect even today.
Given the above, Microsoft still plans to release its Xbox One console in China this September, while also aiming to form ties with China Telecom Corp and e-commerce company, JD.com Inc.
Thank you Reuters for providing us with this information