China is reportedly poised to open an anti-competitive investigation against Google. It could be a firm response to recent US sanctions on Chinese companies like Huawei and TikTok. The economic war rages in the two countries and it is the private companies which toast.
Google may soon be at the center of an abuse of dominance investigation in China. The American giant is indeed in the sights of the party, according to Reuters, which criticizes it for not letting other companies settle in the segment of mobile OS. Nevertheless, it is complicated not to see here a political maneuver.
Indeed, the Trump administration has a heavy hand when it comes to Chinese automakers at the moment. The two most egregious examples are Tik Tok and especially Huawei, both accused of espionage. It is by the way Huawei, which filed a complaint against the subsidiary of Alphabet in his country. China could therefore strike hard against American society in retaliation.
Google is criticized here to abuse its position in the mobile segment, especially with Android, in the Chinese market. The consequence would therefore be that other manufacturers (Chinese, of course) cannot offer their own OS.
The timing is far from trivial. Already deprived of the software suite from Google and soon Android, Huawei should soon launch its smartphones equipped with its own mobile OS: Harmony OS. Putting pressure on Google and punishing it heavily could help to leave the field open to Chinese society.
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At the moment, nothing is official, but the investigation could be announced during the month of October. Tensions between the United States and China are currently extremely high, against the backdrop of economic war and embargo. However, things could very soon change with the American election which will take place at the beginning of November.
In the meantime, the Trump administration is stepping up its pressure on Chinese companies and the latest victim is none other than Tik Tok. Banned from American smartphones, she is currently on probation. Nevertheless, she could well disappear from the country. China has more than one chance to play in this war, given that many American companies have economic interests in this country.