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Print 21 comment(s) - last by sprockkets.. on Jun 9 at 11:44 AM

Microblog post contradicts claims by China's state-run media

Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) and China have long had a rocky relationship over accusations of piracy.  With U.S. and Chinese relations deterioriating in the wake of the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) spying scandal and the Obama administration's decision last month to throw fuel on the fire by charging Chinese military officers in China with cyberspying, Microsoft is among the companies accused by Chinese officials as conspiring with U.S. spying.  China has banned Windows 8 from government computers and advised Chinese citizens and businesses to drop Microsoft's latest operating system.

The spat between Microsoft and China is also fueled in part by the testy debate over Windows XP.  In April, Microsoft ended support for most SKUs of the 13-year-old operating system, much to the chagrin of the Chinese government.  Currently, roughly 50 percent of Chinese computers run Windows XP, well above the global consumer average of about 25 percent.  

Windows 8 in China
Former Microsoft Windows President Steven Sinofsky announces Windows 8 at an Oct. 2012 launch event in China. [Image Source: EPA]

China wanted Microsoft to offer Chinese customers free ongoing support for Windows XP.  Microsoft refused, saying that roughly 9 in 10 Windows XP users (indicating a whopping 45 percent of total Chinese users) are running pirated copies of the operating system.

Microsoft this week took to social media to try to appeal to the Chinese people and reassure them that it was fighting attempts to spy on them.  The company wrote on its Chinese account on local Chinese-language microblogging service Weibo [translated via Neowin]:
  1. Microsoft has never assisted any government in an attack of another government or clients.
  2. Microsoft has never provided any government the authority to directly visit our products or services.
  3. Microsoft has never provided any so-called "Backdoor" into its products or services.
  4. Microsoft has never provided the data or info of our clients to the U.S. Govt. or National Security Agency.
  5. Microsoft has never concealed any requests from any government for information about its client
Only roughly 5 percent of Microsoft's revenue comes from China according to a 2011 statement by then CEO Steve Ballmer -- a shockingly low number for the world's largest electronics marketplace.  China's $9B USD market in pirated software, though, make dealing with that massive market a headache, even before you toss in spying concerns.

Sources: Microsoft [Weibo], Neowin



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something strange
By dgingerich on 6/7/2014 10:15:28 AM , Rating: 4
quote:
1. Microsoft has never assisted any government in an attack of another government or clients.
2. Microsoft has never provided any government the authority to directly visit our products or services.
3. Microsoft has never provided any so-called "Backdoor" into its products or services.
4. Microsoft has never provided the data or info of our clients to the U.S. Govt. or National Security Agency.
5. Microsoft has never concealed any requests from any government for information about its client


Did anyone notice the difference in #4? All the others say "any government" while #4 states "U.S. Govt. or National Security Agency" specifically. That implies that they "provided the data or info of our clients" to someone else. I wonder who.




RE: something strange
By milktea on 6/7/2014 11:27:09 AM , Rating: 3
good find,

but it probably means the marketing data, for targeted ads and searches, maybe?

but you never know who's actually receiving those marketing data, could be NSA in disguise that even MS doesn't know about
;)


RE: something strange
By Gondor on 6/7/2014 1:03:32 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
That implies that they "provided the data or info of our clients" to someone else. I wonder who.


Other companies (and agencies), evidently. Care to guess who these "other companies" forwarded that data to in the following step?


RE: something strange
By bug77 on 6/8/2014 9:58:08 AM , Rating: 2
Chinese government? Remember in China you have to identify yourself to connect from an Internet cafe.
Anyway, this is pointless, you can't address to someone who's not listening. If the Chinese government told their people that the Earth is flat, Stephen Hawing couldn't convince them otherwise if he flew then all to the ISS to see for themselves.


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