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Ballmer: Piracy costs Microsoft 95% of potential Chinese revenue

At the opening of Microsoft’s new Microsoft Asia-Pacific R&D Group HQ in Beijing, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer stated that the revenue made in China is only 5% compared to what Microsoft makes in the United States. Ballmer further explains by saying that piracy was the reason why the revenue from China was so little.

As Ars reports, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer stated that the company earned revenue in China amounting to only 5% of that earned in the United States. When asked why that was, Ballmer blamed piracy.

Many people have even argued that people pirate software because it is expensive. Ballmer argues otherwise. “If you can [afford a PC], you could afford the software.” Ballmer believes that piracy is occuring due to a “slack enforcement of intellectual property rights.”

Apparently, if China’s intellectual property protection were as strong as India, then the market would be worth “billions of dollars.” India is reported to be bringing in 6 times more revenue per PC compared to China.

During Chinese President Hu Jintao’s visit to the United States back in January 2011 to discuss intellectual property protection, Microsoft’s CEO Steve Ballmer pointed out that piracy was and still is rampant in China. At the time, Ballmer claimed that 90% of Microsoft customers in China were using pirated software.

The Chinese government continues to acknowledge the problem and is supposedly taking steps to reduce levels of piracy.

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