China, a pirate's den of intellectual property theft, is showing signs of progress in fighting counterfeit software, some industry insiders say. The progress, albeit preliminary and modest, appears partly to be the result of new anti-piracy measures taken ahead of China's accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO), including a recent crackdown on use of illegal software within the country's vast bureaucracy.
The Business Software Alliance, an industry group, contends that 94 percent of the software installed in China last year was counterfeit, worse than the 91 percent rate a year earlier. "We have seen pockets of progress, but it is far from complete within those pockets, and it is certainly not complete across the board," said Tom Robertson, BSA vice president.
In August, officials invited the press to watch as millions of bogus CDs and DVDs were fed into woodchippers in Zhuhai, a southern city considered a hotbed of counterfeiting. Last week, Beijing revealed a plan to promote copyrighted software by government agencies, the official China Daily reported. The Beijing municipality, meanwhile, promised that all city government organizations will use authorized operating systems and software by year's end, the paper said.