China's software piracy clampdown has cost $157 million in licenses

By Lee Kaelin on July 18, 2012, 10:30 AM

China has spent over 1 billion Yuan ($155.9m) on the purchasing of licensed software as part of a three-year long national anti-piracy campaign to turn the tides on the use of pirated software across its government offices, according to Chinese newspaper Xinhua.

“The first two stages covered inspection and correction of improper use of software in national authorities and provincial governments,” said Yan Xiaohong, deputy director of the National Copyright Administration during a press conference.

The purchase includes 158,823 operating system licenses and a further 506,693 licenses for office software, anti-virus products and other specialized software required by the government and provincial departments. Yan said that domestic and foreign software providers were given equal treatment with no preference given to any particular company during the procurement process, but did not specifically note any of the major software products purchased.

"Foreign software companies are encouraged to sell their products in China and are protected under Chinese law. We also like to see our own companies develop more quality software," Yan said.

Inspection and procurement of the software licenses required at city and county levels are expected to conclude by the end of next year. That said, a large proportion of the country is yet to complete compliance testing with only 159 cities and 594 counties out of China’s 500 cities and 2,800 counties inspected to date.

It won’t be plain sailing however, as officials realize there will be obstacles in the implementation of the final part of the project to establish official checks and accountability within the government. Complicating matters further will be the difficulties faced with monitoring software licenses following their installation.

Many officials also lack understanding of intellectual property rights, and this will need to be resolved if China is to become an innovative-driven country. Despite this, Yan is confident that the new measures will be a success and the country can implement a system to sustain its efforts by providing infrastructure for financial support, asset management for intangible goods, auditing and inspections.

User Comments: 5

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1 person liked this | Tygerstrike said:

Great article Leeky!! Its kinda nice to see that not every person in China is a pirate and that the Chinese govt. is activly attempting to ensure thier own systems are all good. Maybe if the ppl of China see thier govt. standing tall and doing the right thing, it will be leading by example.

gamoniac said:

I am sure there are a lot more unlicensed software out there, but this is a good start and China is taking the initiative.

Guest said:

Tygerstrike, I'd like to see you spending more than half or your month (~200$ avrg.) salary on windows, office etc. They are humans, they have bills to pay and they want to eat too.

hmmm maybe U$A should introduce new windows tax to buy windows licenses and give away for poor countries?

hellokitty[hk] hellokitty[hk], I'm a TechSpot Evangelist, said:

A lot of people in China have a lot of money.

Tygerstrike said:

@ Guest.

Now I know money is tight every where. That being said, they have a computer. A item that would cost atleast 5 times the amount that any software on the consumer end in China would need. So your argument is half flawed. Yes they are ppl just like us. And yes they have problems just like us. But just because "Life Happends", is no excuse to in essence steal the software. The Chinese govt. is in this little act, attempting to show its own ppl that they wont be "that" type of govt.

What,do you think all of China is one giant rice patty field? Do you think the higher ups in the govt live in straw and mud huts?? China and its ppl have the same populace dispertion that any other country that practices a free market has. There are rich and poor ppl. There is a middle class. There is uber rich and dirt poor. Pls try and do a bit of reaserch on the topic before you post. thx

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