Beijing: Microsoft Vice President David Chen and other staff members have been questioned by a special Chinese investigation team on the world’s largest software company’s alleged monopoly activities in China and asked the firm to provide a written explanation within 20 days.

The team led by the State Administration for Industry & Commerce (SAIC) asked Microsoft to provide general information about the company and defend itself against the monopoly charges in a written report within 20 days, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.

The deadline was given after questioning Chen over the issue.

Microsoft along with a host of multinational firms were being probed in China in recent weeks for alleged violation of anti-trust laws.

Recent reports said Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella would be visiting China to hold talks with the Chinese officials about current round of investigations.

In June 2013, the SAIC investigated complaints from enterprises that Microsoft used tie-in sales and verification codes in its Windows operating system and Microsoft Office software suite, practices that may have violated China’s anti-monopoly law.

The SAIC said the company did not fully disclose information about its products, as required by law, causing software incompatibility issues.

Microsoft said it will facilitate the investigation and “actively answer” questions raised in the anti-monopoly case.

The SAIC said the probes are still under way, and it will release results to the public in a timely manner.

In addition to its plans to close Windows XP, which was widely used in China, Microsoft also announced plans to close its Windows Live Messenger (MSN) service by October 31.

Skype, the real-time Internet communication service provided by Microsoft, has emailed Chinese MSN users about the change, suggesting they move to the VoIP (Voice-over-Internet Protocol) service, the Beijing Morning Post reported.

Except for the Chinese mainland, Microsoft pulled the plug on the MSN service globally on April 8, 2013. MSN once attracted over 20 million users in China.

Free Press Journal