Daily Management Review

Antitrust Investigation Against Google Being Prepared In China: Reuters


Antitrust Investigation Against Google Being Prepared In China: Reuters
Preparations for an antitrust investigation into the business practices Alphabet Inc's Google is to be launched in China over the company’s alleged business strategy of leveraging the dominance of its Android mobile operating system to suppress competition, claimed reports citing sources in China. 
Last year, this case was proposed by the Chinese telecom equipment maker Huawei and the company has submitted the complaint with China’s top market regulator, which in turn has forwarded it to the State Council’s antitrust committee for review, claimed reports.
Reports said that a decision to on whether to launch an investigation could be arrived at as soon as October and the decision could be influenced by the current tensions between the United States China. 
News of this investigation emerges from China at a time when the US president Donald Trump and his administration have taken several measures against Chinese companies in the US over concerns of national security risks.
The recent actions taken against Chinese companies by the Trump administration include blacklisting of Huawei, threatening to take similar action against Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp and issuing an order to the Chinese short video sharing app TikTok to divest its US business to an American company.
In recent times, china itself has started a massive revamping of its antitrust laws which includes a proposal for including amendments for an very large increase in the maximum fines and expansion of the criteria for deciding on whether a company has a control over a market.
Reports said that if a formal probe is decided upon, it would examine accusations of that the market position of Google could result in “extreme damage” for Chinese companies such as Huawei because loosing the support of the US tech giant for its Android-based operating systems would result in massive loss of confidence and revenue.
None of the sources were named in the reports while no comment on the issue from Huawei was available. There were also no comments from China’s top market regulator, the State Administration for Market Regulation, and the State Council.
The blacklisting of Huawei by the US administration essentially has prevented Google from providing any technical support to new smartphones sold by Huawei as well as the company’s access to Google Mobile Services which is the bundle of developer services which forms the base for most of the Android apps.
A temporary license from the US government that was granted to Google to exempt it form the ban on Google expired in August and has not been renewed yet.
The exact services offered by Google hat would be the focus of the possible probe was not clear. An open-source version of the Android platform is used by most Chinese smartphone vendors that provide them alternatives to Google services on their domestic phones.
Google’s search, email and other services are not allowed inside China.