China has continued an investigation into Microsoft Corp over allegations that the U.S.-based computer technology giant has broken the country's anti-monopoly laws, as executives in China were brought in for questioning on Tuesday, an official announcement said.
A special investigation unit of the State Administration for Industry and Commerce (SAIC) questioned executives from Microsoft and its China division about anti-monopoly issues, the agency said in a statement Tuesday.
The SAIC has asked Microsoft executives to explain "relevant major issues" in the data obtained since the start of an investigation into the company, according to the statement. The agency also asked executives to immediately submit complete explanatory materials following the questioning, the statement said.
The SAIC launched an investigation into Microsoft in July 2014, citing accusations reported by companies that Microsoft's failure to fully disclose information about its Windows operating system and Office software had caused issues such as compatibility and selling of bundled software products, according to a statement the SAIC released on July 29, 2014.
After initial inquiries, the SAIC determined that it couldn't rule out the possibility that Microsoft's behavior constituted anti-competitive practices, and it decided to launch a formal investigation, the July statement said.
The SAIC then raided Microsoft's China headquarters and offices in Shanghai, Guangzhou in South China's Guangdong Province and Chengdu in Southwest China's Sichuan Province, according to the statement.
During the raid, executives including managers who oversee the marketing and financial departments were questioned, copies of some contracts, financial reports, internal documents and e-mails were collected, and two computers were seized, the statement said.
In August 2014, Mary Snapp, corporate vice president of Microsoft, was questioned and the company was warned to "strictly follow" Chinese laws and not to interfere or obstruct the investigation in any way, according to a SAIC statement on August 4, 2014.
Over one month later, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella met with SAIC Director Zhang Mao in Beijing, according to another SAIC statement released on September 26, 2014. Nadella said during the meeting that Microsoft would cooperate in the investigation and provide materials as instructed.