Everybody knows that piracy is a big problem in China, but news that the level of piracy stretches all the way to state-owned companies is a bit unsettling, if not embarrassing for China. Software maker, Microsoft, looks like it has had enough and in a bid to stem the tide has made a direct appeal to China to have companies stop pirating its software.
At the heart of the piracy row is Microsoft Office 2010 which according to Microsoft has been pirated heavily by 4 state-owned Chinese companies. China National Petroleum Corp (CPNC), one of the 4 companies accused of piracy rakes in $240 billion a year. You’d think that with revenues of that scale, a few licenses for Windows 7 and Microsoft Office 2010 wouldn’t be a problem. According to Microsoft however, CPNC has 40% piracy of its software.
Another company, China Post has 93% Office piracy, while TravelSky has pretty much 100% piracy of Microsoft Office. One accused company; China Railway has issued a statement on the allegations admitting that there is “the possibility [that] some subsidiary units may have used unauthorized software.”
The damning allegations will no doubt affect adversely the efforts of the Chinese government to market China as a place for Western companies to do business. Microsoft now joins Apple as another US company that is facing lost revenues from the level of piracy in China.
Should Microsoft take legal action against the 4 companies? Share your thoughts below.