According to Reuters, officials of the Chinese government made an unannounced visit to Microsoft offices. However, it’s unclear why the visits were made, or whether they’re in connection to an investigation of some kind. A Microsoft spokesperson revealed that the visits occurred, but decline to comment further on the nature of the visits.
“We aim to build products that deliver the features, security and reliability customers expect and we’re happy to answer the government’s questions,” the Microsoft rep said in an email.
Microsoft and the Chinese government have had a lukewarm relationship in recent months, at best. China has had a suspicious stance towards Microsoft ever since former NSA contractor Edward Snowden revealed a widespread spying program conducted by the U.S. government.
For instance, last month, a state-run TV broadcast criticized Windows 8, claiming that through the OS, Microsoft had the ability to mine sensitive information from users, including financial data, and phone numbers. The broadcast, which was aired on China Central Television, accused Microsoft of developing Windows 8 collaboratively with the United States government in order to allow it to conduct cyber-espionage activities.
On top of that, a Chinese agency banned people from installing Windows 8 on government computers back in May.
It’ll be interesting to see whether the reasons for the visits are revealed.
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