Technology companies are starting to come unstuck in China as the economy slows down, and there are fears that things might even be worse as the government might be cooking the books.
Western firms are preparing for slower growth in China after Beijing said it expected growth to stabilise at 7.5 per cent for the next few years. But analysts are concerned official economic statistics are manipulated to suit Beijing’s political needs.
China grew 7.4 per cent in the third quarter compared with a year ago, the seventh consecutive quarter of slower growth. But that is the sort of growth which is not good for the technology industry which has been looking to China to make up for the falling sales in Europe and the US.
Microsoft, which is already fighting a losing battle against piracy in the region, was hoping that its new Windows 8 operating system would take off on cheap and cheerful tablets behind the bamboo curtain. In times of economic slow down China is less likely to improve networks and hardware in the short term.