Chinese government officials have made sudden visits to Microsoft Corp
offices in China, a spokeswoman for the company said on Monday, but
declined to give any reason for the inspections.
Administration for Industry & Commerce, which Chinese media reported
had made the visits to Microsoft offices in Beijing, Shanghai,
Guangzhou and Chengdu, declined to give comment outside of working
Microsoft has been a focus of anti-U.S. technology
sentiment in China since U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) contractor
Edward Snowden revealed widespread spying programmes, including Prism,
which used U.S. company's technology for cyber espionage.
e-mailed statement, the Microsoft spokeswoman said: "We aim to build
products that deliver the features, security and reliability customers
expect and we're happy to answer the government's questions," but
declined to give any further information.
The world's largest
software company has had a rocky time in China, including a call by
state media for "severe punishment" against American tech firms for
helping the U.S government to steal secrets and monitor China.
Earlier this month, activists said Microsoft's OneDrive cloud storage service was being disrupted in China.
May, central government offices were banned from installing Windows 8,
Microsoft's latest operating system, on new computers. This ban appears
to not have been lifted, as multiple procurement notices since then have
not allowed Windows 8.
Nevertheless, the company has pushed
forward with plans to release its Xbox One gaming console in China in
September, forming distribution ties with wireless carrier China Telecom
Corp and e-commerce company JD.com Inc.
© Thomson Reuters 2014