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Microsoft hit by $140m back-taxes bill in China

State media refers to global top-500 firm starting with ’M’; international media fills in blanks

IT Business, Law and regulation, Financial news, Microsoft Corporation

Microsoft was this week hit with a tax bill of around $140m, imposed by the Chinese government, Reuters reported.

State-controlled media agency Xinhua published an article in which it referred to a global top-500 company with a name that started with "M", which started a wholly-owned foreign subsidiary in Beijing in 1995. According to Reuters, "Microsoft is the only company that fits that description".

State revenue collectors imposed a $140m back-taxes charge on company "M" and will take $16m a year from now on. If the company is Microsoft, the move would be the latest in a series of measures designed to put pressure on US companies operating in China.

Microsoft reportedly neither confirmed nor denied that it was company "M". The US software and services firm already faces an antitrust probe by Beijing officials.