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China allegedly planning antitrust investigations into Google

Chinese authorities are reportedly prepping an investigation into Google over antitrust allegations. Reuters reports that Google is facing allegations of using the Android mobile operating system choke competition. 

Confidential sources privy to the matter revealed that the case is a proposal of Huawei Technologies. At the moment, the investigation is yet to get a green light but the decision will be made by October. Notably, the case will further put a strain on the U.S – China relationship.

The planned investigations come at a moment China has been revamping its antitrust laws. Some of the new proposals to the law include an increase in maximum fines and expanded criteria for judging a company’s control of a market. The basis of the investigations will look into allegations that Google dominance has the potential of causing extreme damage to companies like Huawei.

During the investigations, China will borrow a leaf from how other countries have handled Google’s antitrust practices. According to the source:

“China will also look at what other countries have done, including holding inquiries with Google executives.”

China’s retaliations towards U.S tech companies treatment

The development can be seen as a Chinese retaliation towards U.S President Donald Trump‘s treatment of Chinese technology companies with TikTok potential ban the recent case. U.S authorities have classified Chinese tech companies as a threat to national security.

Before the United States launched an attack on TikTok, the Trump administration placed Huawei on its trade blacklist. Washington also threatened a similar action for Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp.

With the blacklist, Google was barred from offering technical support to new Huawei phone models and access to Google Mobile Services. Google had a temporary license that exempted it from the ban on Huawei but it expired in August.

The State Administration for Market Regulation and the State Council is yet to issue a statement. Huawei is also yet to give a comment on the matter. 

This is not the first time Google is facing such a probe. In 2018, The European Union fined Google 4.3 billion euros over anti-competitive practices. Some of the practices include forcing phone makers to pre-install Google apps on Android devices.

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