China piracy cost software industry $20bn in 2010

May 12, 2011
A pirated copy of Microsoft Windows Vista readily available in southern China is shown in Hong Kong, 2007. Piracy cost the global software industry more than $20 billion in losses in the China market last year despite the increasing use of legitimate programmes, an official survey showed.

Piracy cost the global software industry more than $20 billion in losses in the China market last year despite the increasing use of legitimate programmes, an official survey showed Thursday.

Pirated software is estimated to have cost the industry 130.9 billion yuan ($20.1 billion) in 2010, up 1.55 percent from a year ago, according to the survey funded by the State Intellectual Property Office.

That accounted for nine percent of China's total , down from 12 percent in 2009, according to the survey, which covered more than 4,800 individual and corporate respondents across the country.

"The use of legitimate software is increasing steadily," said the survey, conducted by Internet research firm Chinalabs.

The decline in the rate of piracy was due to factors including the emergence of homegrown, low-cost legitimate software, the increasing number of free programmes on offer and a more diversified , it said.

Programming tools, industry-specific software, and Microsoft's Office package and similar products were the most often pirated, followed by software for web page design and security management, it added.

China's counterfeit and piracy market is the biggest in the world, and in the country has long been a sticking point in Sino-US relations.

The United States earlier this month said China was making progress on improving protection of but voiced concern about Beijing's longer term commitment.

It kept the country on this year's "priority watch list" for weak protection of intellectual property rights.

Explore further: Software piracy worsens in Asia: study

Related Stories

Software piracy worsens in Asia: study

May 12, 2009

Software piracy in the Asia-Pacific region continued to worsen last year, a study said Tuesday, driven by the rapid growth in computer sales and the availability of bootleg programmes online.

Microsoft, China's Hangzhou set 'model city' pact

May 15, 2009

(AP) -- Microsoft Corp. announced a partnership aimed at helping make the eastern Chinese city of Hangzhou a model for innovation and protection of intellectual property, in the company's latest attempt to combat rampant ...

Over $50 bln lost to software piracy: report

May 11, 2010

Software piracy cost technology companies more than 50 billion dollars around the world last year, with Asia accounting for the largest share of losses, an industry report said Tuesday.

Value of pirated software nearly $59 billion: study

May 12, 2011

The commercial value of pirated software increased 14 percent last year to nearly $59 billion, with emerging economies accounting for over half the total, according to a study published Thursday.

Recommended for you

MIT's flea market specializes in rare, obscure electronics

September 25, 2016

Once a month in the summer, a small parking lot on the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's campus transforms into a high-tech flea market known for its outlandish offerings. Tables overflow with antique radio equipment, ...

Indonesia struggles to tap volcano power

September 25, 2016

Columns of steam shoot from the ground at an Indonesian power plant sitting in the shadow of an active volcano, as energy is tapped from the red-hot underbelly of the archipelago.

Hyperloop pushes dream of low-cost futuristic transport

September 23, 2016

Is it a plane, is it a train? No, say supporters of Hyperloop, a futuristic mode of transport floated by Silicon Valley billionaire Elon Musk that promises high-tech, high-speed and cheap travel over long distances.

First test of driverless minibus in Paris Saturday

September 24, 2016

The French capital's transport authority will on Saturday carry out its first test of a driverless minibus, in the hope that regular routes for the hi-tech vehicles will be up and running within two years.


Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

5 / 5 (2) May 12, 2011
It is quite possible that if MS, Apple, and Adobe were to price their software more closely aligned with cost, they wouldn't be having this issue.

Let me cry Mr. Gates and Mr. Jobs a sec......I know I got a tear somwhere..... it's coming......
5 / 5 (1) May 12, 2011
If it were not possible to pirate software:
- people would run Linux
- people would run open source software
- fewer people would buy legal Windows software

For example, employee [Joe] knows product Photoshop because he pirated it. [Joe] works for [Intel]. [Joe] gets [Intel] to license Photoshop because it is what [Joe] knows. If Joe could not pirate Photoshop, he would use a free alternative, like Gimp. He would probably use Gimp at work too if he had never used Photoshop before. That is a real world example which resulted in 3 licenses as [Joe] changed companies.

The idea that $20B was lost due to piracy is absurd. Certainly there are some legitimate lost sales, but without it people would use free alternatives at home *and in business*.

If the Chinese could not pirate Windows they would not run it. There would be almost zero Windows software sales because the people running Windows would be few and far between and the "kid who can fix your computer" would only know Linux.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.