It has taken some time, but the Chinese government recently confirmed and guaranteed that state-owned businesses will use only legal software, including operating systems and office suites.
The statement referred to enterprises that operate under the authority of the China Banking Regulatory Commission, as well as central state-owned enterprises that are directly supervised by the State-Owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission of the State Council.
In a meeting with the Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade (JCCT) the Chinese government promised to "develop a Judicial Interpretation" for the Supreme People’s Court, making clear that "those who facilitate online infringement will be jointly liable for such infringement."
The Business Software Alliance (BSA) had lobbied for such an agreement for several years and was unsurprisingly happy about this move: "We’re glad China has made clear it is committed to curbing illegal software use in its state-owned enterprises," said BSA President and CEO Robert Holleyman in a prepared statement. "Piracy has been a persistent problem throughout the Chinese economy, but this represents a real opportunity to start bringing it under control. State-owned enterprises account for a huge share of China’s industrial output. More effectively upholding intellectual property laws in that sector will make a big difference. But the challenge will be effectively verifying compliance."
The BSA said that the commercial value of software piracy in China was $8.9 billion in 2011.