Microsoft under investigation in China

The company is among a number of tech giants facing rocky relations with the Chinese government.

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Microsoft headquarters in Redmond, Wash. Stephen Brashear/Getty Images

The Chinese government is investigating Microsoft, the company said Monday, raising the potential of further troubles for the software giant in the country.

"We aim to build products that deliver the features, security and reliability customers expect, and we will address any concerns the government may have," a company representative told CNET.

The tech giant didn't provide additional details on the nature of the investigation. Chinese media reported that China's State Administration for Industry & Commerce made sudden visits to Microsoft offices in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, and Chengdu, but didn't tell the company the reason for the investigation, according to Reuters.

Microsoft and some other major US-based tech companies have had strained relations with the Chinese government lately, as part of larger issues between the governments in US and China. Since the revelations of US National Security Agency spying activities were leaked last year, China has used the opportunity to accuse such companies as Microsoft, Google, and Apple of cooperating with the NSA to gather data and steal state secrets.

Also, last month, Chinese state-run broadcaster China Central Television lashed out at the latest version of Windows and charged that it's capable of collecting a huge amount of data on Chinese society.

Tech companies have acknowledged that they are required to share certain customer data at the request of the US government but have denied that they collaborate with the government or build back doors into their products and services to allow data to be siphoned.

Update, 10:20 a.m. PT: Adds Microsoft's confirmation and comments.

 

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