back to article China in anti-monopoly investigation of Microsoft

China has kicked off an anti-monopoly probe into Microsoft’s business practices and lawsuits from local firms could follow, according to state media reports today. Several companies are being scrutinised over suspected monopoly activities by China’s State Intellectual Property Office and some research institutions in the …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Wake up, Europe and UK

    "Chinese regulators are investigating operating systems and other software developed by multinational companies that cost much more in China than in the US"

    Its time we did the same. Not just with microsoft, but with all software, music and other products.

    And refused to accept the status quo for an answer.

  2. Jess
    Thumb Up


    Ha ha.

  3. Pete James

    Aha! Park Lane!

    Vendors have continually rolled out the saying that pirate software keeps the real stuff artificially high in price. For a long time this was in part a pointed reference to Chinese ignorance of copyright.

    As we're now seeing, this was nothing more than utter tripe. The only artifical high vendors know about is a line of charlie on a Friday night.

    Bit suspicious of the end motives though. Could be an interesting little investigation this one........

  4. Anonymous Coward

    This begs an interesting question...

    Who do I hate more, China or Microsoft? That's a toughy!

  5. Gordon Pryra

    dammed right

    There is no need for companies to make the profits they do, let alone rape those who can't go elsewhere.

    This is the same greedy attitude that is destroying our world, and I think the only thing that will stop the massive company’s and cash lenders is to actually start killing some of them to prove the point.

    The point being, "raping the environment and your fellow man will not be tolerated"

    Why the hell does a company like Microsoft need to charge those prices?

    They could charge 5% of the price and still make massive profits

    Kill the leaders!!

    The same goes for the financial industry!!

  6. David Donley

    About time

    Microsoft need to be split apart. Plain and simple. One part for productivity software, one part for operating systems, and each continent should have their own Microsoft head office, who can force the proper prices worldwide.

  7. Law
    Gates Horns


    "Chinese regulators are investigating operating systems and other software developed by multinational companies that cost much more in China than in the US, one source was quoted as saying."

    Something we have been begging the UK government to look into for years.

  8. Steve
    Thumb Up

    I, for one, welcome our new Chinese overlords.

    "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."

    How do we go about signing up England as a Chinese province?

  9. Wing Stand

    Pot play nice with kettle

    Ooh, the irony of a one-party state accusing another entity of maintaining a monopoly.

  10. Darren B

    "other software developed by multinational companies"

    Shirley Adobe must be on the list.

    And since when did M$ bundle Office and Windows except with a new PC? Or is it just in good ol blighty we need to buy all our licences seperatley?

  11. Anonymous Coward

    Best defense is a strong offense

    I've been to China – every shop is filled to the brim with pirated software. Anything you can imagine – all priced around $2 US. Want a copy of XP? $2. Want a copy of Pro E? $2. Want a copy of Photshop Pro? $2.

    We all know that a large part of China's incredible growth can be chalked up to systematically ignoring intellectual property rights. Whether it's an OS to run a computer, CAD software to design a product, or just plain old reverse engineering other peoples patented ideas – they get all these things for Free (or very close). The rest of the world is getting mad about it – legitimate software in China is probably in the low single digits. But rather than clamp down on it (and harm their domestic economy) the Chinese choose to mount a counter attack. “We wouldn't steal it if you gave it to us!” is now their defense.

    Frankly, the country is built on idea theft – if you travel there you better have a clean hard drive, or your company could soon be competing against a Chinese company that uses your own research and plans. This attack on Microsoft? Smoke and mirrors.

  12. ImaGnuber


    Microsoft might want to pay attention to the fact that China likes executions as a problem solver. Wonder if capitalist running dog Billy is planning to go to the Olympics?

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Horns

    nothing to see here

    usual Microsoft attempted shafting of its customer base

    In the UK windows vista business + office SBE approx £550 retail or just over 7000 Yuan, and is more expensive than a business pc. Of course if it wasn't for the cheap Chinese labour allowing the commoditisation of pcs the ratio wouldn't so bad

  14. ekimdam

    Pot, meet kettle....

    @ Wing Stand: Exactly

    @ Best defense is a strong offense: Exactly

    Does MS software cost too much? Yeah probably but then again so does oil. (by about $60 to $100 per barrel). Why don't they take aim at a real target then? What about the EU and US and pick a conglomerate... why don't they do something about the strangle hold that speculators and OPEC have on the world? Talk about your monopoly.

    China is nothing more than a bandwagon wh*re.. jumping on when and where they can and stealing anything they can get their greedy hands on!

    Flames? Well they are the other Red state....

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    Hum... they don't have to buy them..

    Hun.. I don't see how that's a monopoly if people don't have to buy Windows+Office in the first place. The reason why MS got in trouble the US was because they could prevent competitors from entering the market. Making your product super expensive is not a problem, it simply means you won't sell any.

    I can't sue Apple for monopoly for making the MacBook Air too expensive..

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @ Best defense is a strong offense

    "Anything you can imagine – all priced around $2 US."

    You have got to be kidding, they still accept dollars? Search on YouTube for "The Day of the Dollar" and watch the 49 minute version..

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Best defense is a strong offense

    Well, to be truthful, they pretty much make you convert your cash to RMB. That way, they could get you with a favorable exchange rate right up front, then hit you again before you leave (I still have a bunch of RMB, it wasn't worth bothering to reconvert). Of course, many shops were happy to accept dollars/Euros etc – but I found it easier to deal in the local currency. That way they had to give me proper change, not try and do a free style conversion (guess who that always favored).

  18. SpitefulGOD
    Gates Halo


    I thought XP goes legally for under $8 in China, what's the problem?

  19. Juillen

    @Anonymous Coward

    Just an aside about China now building its economic strength on idea theft..

    You do know that's exactly how the US started its climb to economic dominance? Nicked all the ideas going round Europe, then developed them from there without restraint. In no time flat, it'd raced ahead of the game, and became the world's biggest economic power.

    Hmm.. Now I just wonder what'll happen with China doing this?

  20. Eduard Coli
    Gates Horns

    The PRC protects you and me...

    How is it Ecnomic Protection in China and protectionism elsewhere?

  21. Brian
    Gates Halo

    How can it be a Monopoly?

    Apple, Linux, Solaris, etc...

    Open office, Opera, etc...

    I have thousands of choices of productivity software, operating system, etc... I can order my hardware with no OS if I choose, how can that be a monopoly?

  22. Anonymous Coward

    Pot calling the kettle black?

    So a totally corrupt country devoid of democracy wants to litigate on monopolistic trading practices. 'Double standards' hardly describes it.

  23. Bruce Sinton
    Gates Horns

    Which to hate more China or Microsoft ?

    I was going to compare Microsoft to Adolf , Uncle Joe and Attila the Hun , but that would probably be overdoing -just a bit.

  24. Ascylto
    Gates Horns

    Already convicted!

    Microsoft is already a convicted monopolist so China would be better off spending the money on 'quake victims.

    Anyway, being a one-party (monopolistic) State, China has only to declare that it is so and it is so!

    Chairman Bill, because he looks a bit like a dragon.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @ Gordon Pryra

    Yeah, ya gotta think that the revolution isn't that far away. I think China is doing the right thing here. All other nations should follow suite. The global economy isn't working out very well for the masses. Although, those in control are sure raking it in.

  26. Andrew Meredith

    Just starting to get it then !

    Hmmm .. I can see from a few of the comments here that the "Globalism is Good" "Bigger is Better" mantras are starting to lose their glitter. It seems that even though our great and glorious leaders have been repeating them over and over, that people are starting to have their doubts. Thank **** for that !

    Now maybe we can try a new approach that I have heard called "Localism". A kind of freestyle mix of globalism, in terms of economies of scale, but where it is only the information that flows on a global basis; the movement of physical objects is kept to an economical minimum. When a function or company or government service is localised, such as a hospital, the costs of the hospital itself are combined with the estimated total travel costs for the catchment for that hospital and the feasibility/economic efficiency is calculated on the total, not just the blinkered cost of the hospital itself. This way a balance is reached between the reduction in the hospital's cost per head the bigger and more centralised it gets and the rise in user costs the further away it gets. We'll probably end up reopening all the cottage hospitals we had when I was a kid in rural Herefordshire :-)

    ET Because this kind of decentralised thinking is completely alien to our lords and masters in Whitehall, for whom the actual people using it are just numbers on a spreadsheet.

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