China’s Ministry of Commerce has fined Microsoft and its partner BesTV for not reporting to antitrust regulators on time.
Microsoft already had some tough times in China together with other tech giants, because of a 14 year long console sales ban. It has been lifted in 2014, yet the road is still not clear. The latest issue Microsoft faced, is an antitrust fine handed by China’s commerce ministry after an investigation on the market share of the company’s latest console Xbox One.
As a result of the investigation, Microsoft and its partner BesTV, a subsidiary of Shanghai Oriental Pearl Media Co Ltd, has been fined 200,000 yuan ($31,430) each. Two companies have been imposed this fine, because they have exceeded a certain market share threshold.
Fine is minor, because there is no infringement
Crossing the threshold might lead two companies to form a disclosure agreement between each other, which is the reason commerce ministry has been investigating. According to China’s laws, two companies had to meet with antitrust regulators and let them check up.
Microsoft and BesTV have not been found breaching China’s antitrust laws, but the failure to meet with the officials caused the fine. This is also the reason, that amount of the fine is minor.
According to a Reuters report, Microsoft is having problems with Office software and Windows operating system sales. But this is an ongoing probe and not related to recent administrative fine over Xbox game consoles.
In China, games need an approval too
Xbox One has entered China one year after the long console ban has been lifted, in the end of last September. The ban was introduced in 2000, citing potential harm to the physical and mental development of children and was lifted in September 2014.
There is also a console game approval process for gaming industry which is handled by Shanghai’s local culture department. The games entering the country should not harm China’s culture, traditions or promote violence or drugs.