23 August 2019

Microsoft CEO Nadella to visit China amid antitrust probe

Microsoft Corp. chief executive Satya Nadella will visit China in late September even as the Chinese government is conducting an antitrust investigation into the world’s largest software company, Reuters reported on Thursday, citing a source familiar with the matter.

It is not clear if Nadella, who took over as Microsoft CEO in February, will meet with any Chinese officials during his visit, or try to resolve issues with the State Administration for Industry and Commerce (SAIC), one of the country’s antitrust regulators, the news agency said.

SAIC has said Microsoft may have broken anti-monopoly laws regarding compatibility, bundling and document authentication for its Windows operating system and Office suite of applications.

A Microsoft spokesman would not confirm the visit, saying the company does not comment on executive travel plans. SAIC officials could not be immediately reached for comment.

Microsoft deputy general counsel Mary Snapp already met with SAIC officials in Beijing earlier this month to discuss the antitrust investigation.

The probe comes amid a spate of antitrust investigations into foreign firms, including mobile chipmaking giant Qualcomm Inc. and German carmaker Daimler AG’s luxury auto unit Mercedes-Benz, renewing fears of Chinese protectionism, the report said.

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