Already under the watchful eye of the US and European competition authorities, a new front against Google may well open in China. Beijing plans to open an investigation for abuse of a dominant position.
This is the shepherd's response to the shepherdess. According to reports from Reuters, China is about to launch an antitrust investigation against Google. In Beijing's sights, the company's mobile operating system that authorities accuse of crushing competition. The investigation could begin as early as October 2020.
The attack is not entirely selfless as Huawei, the Chinese telecoms giant, is quite directly affected by Google's unparalleled dominance in the mobile market. Deprived of the search giant's tools on its latest smartphones, the Chinese manufacturer has seen its market share plummet in Western Europe. In response, Huawei set out to develop an alternative system, Harmony OS, which could arrive on its smartphones as early as 2021.
A precedent in Europe
Under these circumstances, it is little wonder that the authorities of the Asian superpower are trying to destabilize Google. Especially since this case comes after numerous attacks by the Trump administration, which, after Huawei, has attacked TikTok and its parent company ByteDance, as well as WeChat, the hugely popular messaging app. Technology has indeed become a geopolitical playground.
This will not be the first time that Google has been the subject of an abuse of dominance complaint. In 2018, the European Union fined the company 4.34 billion euros for forcing manufacturers to install its software suite.