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Microsoft faces new antitrust inquiry in China

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HONG KONG — A Chinese regulator said on Tuesday that it would open a new antitrust investigation of Microsoft, related to electronic data that the government collected as part of an earlier inquiry.

香港——本周二,中国一家监管部门表示,它将开启新的针对微软(Microsoft)的反垄断调查,内容涉及早期调查中政府获取的电子数据。

Despite Microsoft's recent steps to improve relations with the Chinese government, the announcement is a reminder of the regulatory challenges that multinational companies face in the country, one of the world's largest technology and consumer markets. Last year, Qualcomm paid a fine of $975 million for violating China's antimonopoly law, and in 2014, Volkswagen and Chrysler were fined a total of $46 million for violating antitrust rules.

中国是世界上最大的科技和消费市场之一。尽管微软近来采取了一些行动,想改善与中国政府的关系,但这个公告提醒人们,跨国公司在中国面临怎样的监管挑战。去年,因被裁定违反中国的反垄断法,高通(Qualcomm)缴纳了60.88亿元人民币的罚款。2014年,大众汽车(Volkswagen)和克莱斯勒(Chrysler)也以违反反垄断规定为由,被处以共计2.8亿元人民币的罚款。

In July of that year, about 100 SAIC officials stormed four Microsoft offices in China, questioning executives, copying contracts and records, and downloading data from the company's servers, including email and other internal communications.

当年7月,约100名工商总局官员突击检查了微软在中国的四个办事处,对高管进行了询问,复印了合同和记录,并从公司的服务器下载了电子邮件和其他内部通讯等数据。

The Chinese regulator said it was seeking answers to "major questions" that arose from the data but did not provide any further details of the investigation on Tuesday. Analysts have said that Microsoft's difficulties in China began in 2014, when the company decided to end support and security updates for Windows XP, an aging software line that it hoped users would replace by upgrading to Windows 10 or other recent operating systems.

工商总局周二表示,正在为这些数据存在的“重大问题”寻求答案,但并没有提供这项调查的进一步细节。分析人士表示,微软在中国的困境始于2014年,当时公司决定不再为老旧的Windows XP版本提供支持和安全更新,希望用户升级到Windows10或该操作系统的其他较新版本。

With many Chinese companies and government offices running versions of old Microsoft software like XP, the move highlighted the country's reliance on the American company. Even though the bulk of Chinese users of Microsoft software acquired pirated versions without paying Microsoft, the company was nonetheless criticized for ending support in favor of its newer software.

在中国,很多企业和政府机构运行像XP这样的旧版软件,微软此举一出,中国对这家美国公司的依赖变得十分明显。尽管大批中国用户使用了盗版的微软软件,并未向该公司付费,但微软不再支持旧版操作系统以提高新版普及率的做法仍然遭到了指责。

In an article about the investigation published on Tuesday, China's state-run news agency Xinhua said that Microsoft was suspected in 2014 of causing computer compatibility problems by not fully disclosing information about its Windows operating system and Microsoft Office suite of applications. "According to Chinese law," the article said, "incompatibility without advance warning to customers could be regarded" as being anticompetitive.

周二,中国官方通讯社新华社在一篇有关此项调查的文章中表示,微软涉嫌在2014年造成电脑兼容性问题,方式是不充分披露Windows操作系统和办公应用系列的相关信息。“按照中国法律的规定,”文中称,“不事先警告消费者不兼容可被认作”具有反竞争性质。

A Microsoft spokesman, who spoke only on the condition of anonymity as a matter of policy, said on Tuesday that the company was "serious about complying with China's laws and committed to addressing SAIC's questions and concerns."

微软的一名发言人周二表示,公司“重视遵守中国的法律,致力于回应工商总局的问题和关切”。出于相关政策,这名发言人要求不具名。

Microsoft has sought in recent months to improve its relations with China's government. The company held a prominent meeting of Chinese and American tech leaders in Seattle in September that was a major stop of the Chinese president, Xi Jinping, during his tour of the United States. Microsoft's founder, Bill Gates, also hosted Mr. Xi at his house.

最近几个月,微软一直试图改善与中国政府的关系。去年9月,公司在西雅图举办了一场面向中美科技行业领袖的重量级会议。这也是习近平访美期间的重要一站。微软创始人比尔·盖茨(Bill Gates)还在自己家里招待了习近平。

During the meeting, Microsoft announced several partnerships, including a cooperative effort with the China Electronics Technology Group, a state-run company that makes technologies to support the Chinese military. That effort is meant to help tailor Windows 10 to the demands of the Chinese government.

在会上,微软宣布了几项合作,包括与中国电子科技集团的一项合作计划。该集团是一家国企,为中国军方提供技术支持。这些努力意在根据中国政府的需求帮助定制Windows 10。

2016-06-22

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