Microsoft’s problems in China continue, this time with a new restriction that’s said to be affecting the OneDrive storage service in almost every single region of the country.
Reports coming from China indicate that several services have been blocked in China following a pro-democracy protest in Hong Kong. The central government reportedly banned multiple popular online services including OneDrive, Flickr, and LINE messenger.
Although it’s not yet confirmed, it appears that the Chinese government is trying to prevent news on the protests from spreading across the country and banning the most popular local online services is a way to do it.
Microsoft hasn’t yet commented on these reports, but a post on GreatFire.org, whose purpose is to “bring transparency to the Great Firewall of China” and monitor all blocked websites in the country, OneDrive, Flickr, Instagram, and many other services are currently unavailable.
Microsoft’s issues in China started a few months ago when the central government decided to ban Windows 8 on their computers for no clear reason. People close to the matter indicated that it was just a way of taking revenge for Microsoft pulling the plug on Windows XP after forcing the government to purchase legitimate licenses for this particular OS version.
The company however didn’t see this coming and told us in a statement that it’s still working with local officials on the restriction, planning to offer them Windows 7 until talks come to a conclusion.
“We were surprised to learn about the reference to Windows 8 in this notice. Microsoft has been working proactively with the Central Government Procurement Center and other government agencies through the evaluation process to ensure that our products and services meet all government procurement requirements. We have been and will continue to provide Windows 7 to government customers. At the same time we are working on the Window 8 evaluation with relevant government agencies,” a company spokesperson said.
At the same time, Chinese media reported that the local government also blocked Microsoft Office on a number of computers, trying instead to promote locally-developed productivity suites, such as Kingsoft Office. Microsoft says that such reports are false and Office is still available to Chinese buyers.
In the meantime, China remains a troubled market and Microsoft is clearly one of the affected companies, even though today’s restrictions seem to be targeting many more tech giants, including Yahoo and Google, whose services are also said to be unavailable at the time of writing this article.
We’ve reached out to Microsoft for more information on this and will update the article accordingly.