China is preparing to launch an antitrust probe into Google, looking into allegations it has leveraged the dominance of its Android mobile operating system to stifle competition, two people familiar with the matter said.
The case was proposed by telecommunications equipment giant Huawei last year and has been submitted by the country’s top market regulator to the State Council’s antitrust committee for review, they added.
A decision on whether to proceed with a formal investigation may come as soon as October and could be affected by the state of China’s relationship with the US, one of the people said.
The potential investigation follows a raft of actions by US President Donald Trump’s administration to hobble Chinese tech companies, citing national security risks.
This has included putting Huawei on its trade blacklist, threatening similar action for Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp (better known as SMIC) and ordering TikTok owner ByteDance to divest the short-form video app.
It also comes as China embarks on a major revamp of its antitrust laws with proposed amendments including a dramatic increase in maximum fines and expanded criteria for judging a company’s control of a market.