Software piracy declining in China

CIOL Bureau
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BEIJING, CHINA: The number of pirated software and operating systems installed in personal computers in China has shown a decline, official statistics have revealed.


Last year, about 45 per cent of the software installed in computers was pirated, down by two percentage points from 2008, while operating systems saw the lowest piracy rate of 27 per cent, a survey done by a consulting and research company, Chinalabs, revealed.

The company, entrusted by China's State Intellectual Property Office, released Monday its annual report on software piracy. The company will be producing the report for a period of five years.

A total of 2,803 personal users and 1,834 business users took part in the survey conducted through telephone interviews.


"China's software piracy rate has been continuously declining for four years. It is approaching that of the developed countries," Ye Xiumin, a senior consultant with the company, was quoted as saying by Global Times.

Ye said the rates have been continuously dropping over the past four years: 66 percent in 2005, 63 percent in 2006, 56 percent in 2007 and 47 percent in 2008.

Cheaper original products offered by software companies helped cut piracy, she said, referring to Microsoft selling its operating system at a much cheaper price in China than in other countries.


"Some domestic companies are also providing free office and anti-virus software," she said.

Classifying by categories, the piracy rate of operating systems dropped the most, from 81 percent in 2005 to 27 percent in 2009.

Strict government regulations also contributed to the improvement, she said.

"Several government bodies have ordered installation of genuine operating systems in all computers. It's now guaranteed that all software used in government computers are genuine versions," she said.