Microsoft CEO to Obama: only 1 in 10 pay for software in China

By on January 24, 2011, 1:24 PM
Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer often makes a point to announce the company's estimate on software piracy in China, and a recent White House state dinner for Chinese President Hu Jintao was no exception. This time, however, US President Barack Obama was listening. At a news conference after the business meeting, Obama gave a speech about how intellectual property rights are an important part of economic development for both China and the US.

"Some of it has to do with intellectual property protection," Obama said, according to the White House transcript. "So we were just in a meeting with business leaders, and Steve Ballmer of Microsoft pointed out that their estimate is that only one customer in every 10 of their products is actually paying for it in China. And so can we get better enforcement, since that is an area where America excels -- intellectual property and high-value added products and services."

Obama also hinted that Hu had agreed to take action. This doesn't really mean much: China has been known for prevalent software piracy and many times those in power have said they will take action. While we don't doubt steps have been taken, the results still speak for themselves.





User Comments: 19

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Guest said:

I can just see Obama telling Hu to tell his people to quit stealing MS software....NOT.

Kind of hard to tell the Nation that owns you, not to do something.

Benny26 Benny26, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Some of the most poverty ridden African countrys have better records on human rights than China...Everytime the "leaders" get together, they talk about "How to solve problems involving money".

It's shameful...

gwailo247, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Why do they keep using the word "customer"?

Isn't the word "user" more correct when used to describe someone who steals something and then uses it?

Guest said:

Tell China to stop pirating software and to use Linux.

emmzo said:

I'd say to Balmer: don't anger the chinese! They'll make a rip-off cheaper version of Windows and he'll be begging to send them free copies.

treeski treeski said:

I totally agree that the Chinese government should take some action to rectify the massive intellectual theft and piracy that goes on in China, but I doubt it will happen. Chinese universities have massive networks where people upload anything they want and share anything they want, with no consequences.

OUTLAWXXX said:

I read a few years back they were working on an Internet 2.0, this time built from the ground up with security and the ability to figure out easily who is doing what... also MUCH faster too. At the time I REALLY didn't want this but now it might not be such a bad idea. Communism China would love this system too for locking down the internet even more... Still against it but sometimes the wild west sucks too...

Guest said:

Simply because 1 in 10 can afford M$ products in China. M$ is charging several weeks salary of an average people for any of its product.

Average monthly income after tax is at best $400-500 in big cities, including Shanghai, where I came from. Average looks shiny sometimes, but those <1% super rich fking officials own more than half of them. Don't ever trust chinese government's numbers.

M$ won a lot by lawsuits last year, but the only solution to this problem is enforcing FOSS. No way chinese people will be able to affort M$ products.

DokkRokken said:

Guest said:

Simply because 1 in 10 can afford M$ products in China. M$ is charging several weeks salary of an average people for any of its product.

One in ten is still one hundred thirty million people. That's a huge market.

China will only take token actions to 'stop' piracy. In reality, pirating Microsoft's products has only helped China's economy by giving its citizens easy access to the tools needed to conduct business. With the government's insistence on maintaining yearly growth, it's not really in their interest to curb piracy.

ihaveaname said:

When computers were first introduced to China, they didn't cost peoples' weekly salaries. They cost monthly, even yearly salaries, and you know what, if Microsoft added their ridiculous fee to it, these pioneering customers might not have been able to afford computers at all. The fact is, piracy has helped China get on to the world of computers. If this didn't happen, Microsoft probably wouldn't have a market in China at all. Microsoft should in fact be hugely grateful that they are making millions out of a country whose average income is unimaginably lower than that of any Western country. Hell, I get more Australian youth allowance than my aunt, a tax office official, gets income (she, by the way, has a genuine copy of Windows).

Guest said:

Come on pirating software is a common thing now, like someone who have a less a pair of blue jeans. It don't matter where you are from. Everyone have done it one time in there life. I both pirated and buy software when it worth your hard earn dollars. This deserve a "COME ON SON!!!" by Ed Lover quotes.

OUTLAWXXX said:

Come on pirating software is a common thing now, like someone who have a less a pair of blue jeans. It don't matter where you are from. Everyone have done it one time in there life. I both pirated and buy software when it worth your hard earn dollars. This deserve a "COME ON SON!!!" by Ed Lover quotes.

first LOL

and I wanted to drop this off here

Title is "Web browser makers developing new tools to protect privacy"

[link]

Guest said:

It's unlikely china will do anything but make false promises. china has it's own version of windows_OS that it owns. They don't need MS telling them how it should be done. Their internal affairs are self controlling and unless it's required by Beijing the it just won't happen. They are happy to just buy the country out from under you, or otherwise steal it.

Guest said:

Yeah, piracy is piracy but business is business. Regarding the piracy in China, they should not look at the percentages but at the actual numbers. If they could sell 100M copies of their product representing 10% of users who are actually using the product, then that's good business. If they want most users to pay, then they have to price their product in China(and in third world countries for that matter) way cheaper to make it affordable to majority of the poor folks.

Say if a product of theirs cost 100USD in developed countries, they should price it 10USD in poor countries.

So, say currently in China, if 100M users(representing 10% of users) buys their product at 100USD, making it 10USD will allow the 900M users(90%) of non paying users to afford and buy it.

In that, MS will get similar profit, but they should feel happier on a reduced price offering as they will see a better percentage of users paying.

fpsgamerJR62 said:

I'm surprised that most Chinese are still using bootleg copies of Windows. Given their ability to copy and/or clone almost any product they can get their hands on, I'd expect them to have come up with Linux-based Windows clone by this time. I guess they're still having trouble recreating the BSOD feature .

krayzie said:

1 in 10 people in a western country own pirated software movies, music, applications etc.... no difference...

matrix86 matrix86 said:

krayzie said:

1 in 10 people in a western country own pirated software movies, music, applications etc.... no difference...

Care to show us where you got your statistics from? I ask this of both you and Balmer.

Guest said:

Let's face it ..

It's everywhere, even in US. or another country not just in China.

Blame your security design, coding team.

Opensource is getting bigger and easier,

adapt your business plan, or you'll screwed in next few decades.

Leeky Leeky said:

I'm surprised that most Chinese are still using bootleg copies of Windows. Given their ability to copy and/or clone almost any product they can get their hands on, I'd expect them to have come up with Linux-based Windows clone by this time. I guess they're still having trouble recreating the BSOD feature .

Microsoft spent billions of dollars and thousands of man hours to make that feature so damn reliable....

Though on a more serious note, I'm pretty sure I've not heard of, or seen a BSOD on any of our W7 computers so far.

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