Pirated software accounts for 26pc sales in China

Beijing, May 7 :

Pirated software products worth around $17.5 billion were sold in China in 2005, accounting for 26 per cent of the country’s total sales in the software industry.

Among the pirated software products, 47 per cent are system software, 43 per cent application software and 10 per cent are supportive software, said a report by the leading group for intellectual property right management. Pirated software users include organisations, which make up to 16 per cent of the total, and individuals, who make up 41 per cent.

The report attributed the high proportion of pirated software usage to poor after sale service offered by software developers and lack of free or low-priced software for teaching. The report suggests that the government should provide better after-sale service, increase the supply of free or low-priced software for teaching and improve software quality.

China has made great efforts to combat pirated software and encourage the use of legitimate ones, said Wang Ziqiang, spokesman for the state copyright bureau. The Chinese central government is expected to allocate up to about $18.7 million for legitimate software purchases for state maintained computers, he said.

China is also working hard to promote legitimate software use in enterprises, especially in the state-owned firms where the government has bigger control. “China wants to give overseas companies confidence that piracy can be confined to a limited scale with consistent government efforts on striking pirated products,” Wang said.