“Government investigators visited Microsoft offices in four Chinese cities Monday, according to a company spokeswoman. However, the reason for the visits was not immediately clear,” Calum MacLeod reports for USA Today. “Microsoft, like other U.S. technology giants in recent months, has been under fire from Chinese media for its perceived role in helping the U.S government conduct cyberhacking against China.”

“On Monday, investigators from China’s State Administration for Industry and Commerce (SAIC) — the nation’s main business authorities — visited Microsoft offices in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Chengdu,” MacLeod reports. “Microsoft said the purpose of the visit was to begin an official investigation. It did not elaborate further.”

“In May, Beijing announced that central government offices were banned from installing Windows 8, Microsoft’s latest operating system, on new computers. Soon after, China’s state broadcaster CCTV ran a critical program suggesting that Windows 8 was being used to seize information on mainland citizens,” MacLeod reports. “This month, CCTV called Apple’s iPhone a threat to national security because of the smartphone’s ‘Frequent Locations’ function that can track and time-stamp the user’s location. Separately, Fang Xingdong, an Internet and blogging pioneer, in the Global Times tabloid Monday urged Chinese Communist Party, government and military officials to stop using Apple cellphones.”

Read more in the full article here.

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Chinese state-run media: Apple iPhone a danger to China national security – July 11, 2014
China state media calls for ‘severe punishment’ for Apple, other U.S. tech firms for ‘stealing secrets’ – June 4, 2014
China bans use of Windows 8 on government computers; Microsoft ‘surprised’ – May 20, 2014