It’s no secret that Microsoft and the Chinese government don’t see eye to eye. Their relationship has had many speed bumps in the past few months. Now we can only hope that Microsoft’s CEO Satya Nadella’s visit to the country, which is happening later this month, will make things better for both.
While the company has remained mum on why exactly Nadella is visiting the world’s most populous nation, something tells us that it has a lot to do with the recent antitrust regulations by the the State Administration for Industry and Commerce (SAIC).
Of course Microsoft’s officials won’t tell us, as they rarely do. Moreover, according to them this trip was planned before this investigation fiasco began. “Satya’s trip was planned before the Chinese government investigation began,” told a company spokesperson to Reuters. “We’re committed to complying with China’s laws and addressing SAIC’s questions and concerns.”
For those who are not aware, here is a brief recap of the whole situation. China, despite being one of the largest technology markets, doesn’t generate considerable amount of revenue for Microsoft. It has been estimated that a vast majority of people in the country use pirated copies of Windows operating system, and Office productivity suite as a result of which Netherlands, a country much smaller compared to China generates more revenue.
Then, we have the trust issue. In the wake of Edward Snowden’s revelations that took the lid off secret government programs that are spying on everyone, Chinese government believes that US technology companies are stuffing their software with spying tools. Chinese government in the past three months has raided Microsoft offices twice. They have also made it illegal to use Windows operating system and Microsoft Office in their offices.