Microsoft is under investigation in China to determine whether it is abusing its market position.
China's State Intellectual Property Office will look into concerns that copies of Windows and Office are being priced up to maximise profits as the country moves towards the greater use of legitimate software.
"Microsoft Windows retails at ¥1,000 to ¥2,000 and its Office software suite at ¥4,000 to ¥5,000, which together is more than the cost of a computer," an official told Reuters.
"It is not right for an international company to use its monopoly position to sell software at outrageous prices while criticising the Chinese people's awareness of copyright law."
China has come in for repeated criticism over piracy rates from the Business Software Alliance, a pressure group founded by major software companies like Microsoft to push for increased action to defend legitimate software.
The Alliance estimates that up to 80 per cent of software in use in the country is pirated.
However, this activity could have provoked the current investigation by the State Administration of Industry and Commerce (SAIC).
"Microsoft's case has been such a saga in the European Union, and I think if SAIC is willing to investigate at all, it will have to spend a lot of resources and time on it," said a Chinese intellectual property lawyer.
"It would be a political decision. At a certain time, they may want to pick one company and make an investigation. It always looks good on the front pages. "
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