Microsoft Asks Chinese Government to Stop Piracy at Four Large Companies

The Redmond-based giant discovers unlicensed software in state-owned firms

Microsoft sent a complaint to the Chinese government in which it reveals that four state-owned firms are using pirated copies of its Office and Windows Server products.

The company claims that approximately 40 percent of the Microsoft products installed on these computers aren’t genuine, BusinessWeek reports citing three people familiar with the matter.

China National Petroleum Corporation, China Post Group, China Railway Construction Corp. and Travelsky Technology Ltd. are all using pirated versions of the software, says Microsoft without issuing any official statement on the matter.

On the other hand, the Chinese firms claim that Microsoft exaggerates with these statistics and admit that while some of their computers may use unlicensed applications, most of them actually paid for the installed products.

“We do not rule out the possibility some subsidiary units may have used unauthorized software, but it certainly is not such a large proportion,” China Railway Construction said in a statement sent to the aforementioned source. “The company attaches great importance to this matter, and we are holding an internal inquiry.”

What’s more, Microsoft revealed in the complaint that almost every single computer in Travelsky’s office uses unlicensed content, while the percentage of pirated content available on China Post and China Railway Construction’s workstations reaches 93 and 84 percent, respectively.

Microsoft is one of the most affected companies when it comes to piracy, despite its efforts to stop the distribution of unlicensed content in the country. According to data released by the Business Software Alliance, the piracy software market is worth $9 billion / €6.9 billion, while the genuine sector barely reaches $3 billion / €2.3 billion.

The Redmond-based software giant, on the other hand, intensifies its fight against illegal content in China and last week discovered that in some cases malware is planted on new computers straight from the manufacturing stage. Microsoft’s investigators purchased computers from different Chinese cities and found that 4 of them were infected with malware that could steal users’ data, including bank accounts and other private information.

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