China tightens scrutiny on Microsoft

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A Chinese regulator is asking Microsoft to explain “major problems” in data included in an antitrust probe in the company, according to multiple reports.

The Wall Street Journal reported that the regulator, the State Administration for Industry and Commerce, is focusing on data that the company handed over during an investigation last year. The agency expects the company to “explain some major problems with the digital data,” according to a statement quoted by the Journal.

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The Chinese government obtained the data during an antitrust probe last year during which officials raided four Microsoft offices in the country. The probe was one of several that triggered concerns that Beijing may have been using its monopoly laws to target American companies.

In the last year, however, Microsoft has looked to mend ties with China’s government. In September, Chinese President Xi Jinping visited the company’s headquarters during a trip that also took him to Washington state. That trip to Seattle included a conference with representatives of other tech firms.

Still, relations between American tech companies and China remain somewhat tense. China recently passed an anti-terrorism law that does not include a draft provision that had particularly worried tech firms, but the legislation requires them to help the government with terrorism investigations.

The law, and particularly the draft provision, drew criticism from U.S. tech groups and President Obama.