According to news reported by Bloomberg, Microsoft has asked four public Chinese companies to stop using pirated software including Office and Windows.
In the past, the United States has criticized China on numerous occasions for not sufficiently fighting against intellectual property violations, notably software piracy.
In May this year, Microsoft’s CEO, Steve Ballmer, met with China’s vice-premier Wang Qishan. He promised to fight harder against software piracy, while Steve Ballmer recognised that "remarkable progress" had been made by the Chinese government on this front.
But according to information published by Bloomberg, Microsoft filed a complaint in August against four Chinese public companies: China National Petroleum, China Post Group, China Railway Construction and Travelsky Technology.
Bloomberg’s sources state that there are a particularly high number of Windows operating systems and Office packages being illegally used in these companies. The figures reach 97% and 84% for China Railway Construction, although the company states that these figures are grossly exaggerated.
For the Business Software Alliance, of which Microsoft is a member, the rate of piracy in China (software without an official license) was 77% in 2011, even though this figure has dropped over the last few years. Chinese consumers only spend $8.89 per PC on authentic software.