Treasury Secretary Jack Lew wrote a stern letter to Chinese authorities to the effect that recent scrutiny over U.S. businesses could harm U.S-China relations. Apparently Secretary Lew sent the letter to Chinese Vice Premier Wang Yang, but neither would disclose details. Lew gave a not very detailed response, “We regularly correspond with our international counterparts on a variety of issues.”
U.S. tech companies have come under scrutiny in China under 2008 anti-trust legislation that many feel unfairly targets foreign firms. The companies that have felt the brunt of the investigations include Microsoft and Qualcomm. When there were talks in July on U.S. China Strategic and Economic dialogue, the U.S. Treasury made the statement that China, “recognized that the objective of competition policy is to promote consumer welfare and economic efficiency, rather than promote individual competitors or industries, and that the enforcement of the competition law should be fair, objective, transparent and non-discriminatory.”
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In spite of criticism, Chinese officials say the targets for anti-trust investigations are not geared towards foreign firms, and only 10% of companies facing the scrutiny are based overseas.