28 May 2012

Software Piracy Declining, Chinese Government Claims

Software piracy in China dropped to 38% of all installed software in 2011, according to China Labs, a local consulting and research company contracted by the People’s Republic to conduct such surveys for nearly a decade. Compared to 2009 and 2010, last year recorded the greatest decline in software piracy in the past years.

"China's software piracy rate has been continuously decreasing over the past seven years, which can be seen as a big victory of authorized software across the country," Wang Junxiu, founder of China Labs, stated for China Daily, a government-run newspaper.

Business Software Alliance (BSA), however, disagrees with the findings. In the ninth edition of the BSA Global Software Piracy Study, the Alliance reveals that China is still among the most active countries in terms of using unlicensed computer software and claims that “China’s illegal software market was worth nearly $9 billion in 2011 versus a legal market of less than $3 billion, making its piracy rate 77 percent.”

China nonetheless seems to now see piracy as a serious matter in today’s international security context. 2011 saw the beginning of a national campaign against counterfeit software that began with the purchase and installation of legitimate software on all computers in government department offices or public administrations centers in regions including Beijing, Shanghai and Jiangsu. Public sectors such as tourism, insurance and banking soon followed in the deployment of legitimate software only.