Microsoft has. 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 software piracy.
A three-year agreement calls for setting up two new centers in Hangzhou to focus on developing the local technology industry. Microsoft will provide curriculum support, technology and training for teachers at Hangzhou Normal University through an institute set up to nurture local innovation.
No dollar figure was announced for the plan but spending might well be above the roughly $1 billion the company pledged in November to spend on research and development in China over the following three years.
The deal came after Hangzhou pledged to improve its enforcement of anti-piracy laws and promote the use of legitimate, non-pirated software by individuals, government offices and companies based in the city, which is west of Shanghai.
Alec Cooper, general manager of Microsoft Greater China’s ‘Genuine Software Initiative’ said, ‘There is some degree of piracy in virtually every country around the world. We said, here’s what we think are the best practices and here’s what we think will work in China, and make it a more positive approach.’
This item is being written on Jarte which is a free program and will be tranferred to a content management system specially developed by China Economic Review. No piracy at either end.
AP reports software piracy is still rampant despite individual countries’ attempts at cracking down.
Research commissioned by the Business Software Alliance, an industry trade group whose figures are generally not to be trusted, claimed 82% of the software used in China in 2007 was not legitimately purchased, more than double the worldwide piracy rate of 38%.