Friday Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer publicly condemned Chinese businesses that use pirated copies of Windows and other software, calling the situation a big problem.
According to estimates made by Washington-based trade group Business Software Alliance (BSA), 79-percent of China's businesses actually used pirated software in 2009. China's gross domestic product is twice that of South Korea and India's economies combined, however Microsoft claims that it makes less revenue in China than it does in the other two countries. BSA backs up those claims, estimating that the value of pirated software in China almost doubled to 7.58 billion dollars from 2005 to 2009.
Ultimately, the Chinese government's lack of protecting intellectual property is the major blame for lost software revenue.
"One of the things that has improved a lot around the world is business piracy, and yet when we look at China today business piracy is more extreme than consumer piracy," he told a business forum in Madrid. "We are working hard with the support of the Chinese government to improve the situation but it is a real problem."
Now the BSA is calling on the Chinese government to enforce businesses and government offices to use licensed software. Ballmer and 11 other chief executives have even met with U.S. lawmakers and top officials in Obama's administration in hopes to persuade them into putting pressure on Chinese officials.
The June meeting with US lawmakers and government officials came two months after Microsoft won its case against a Chinese insurance company that was running 450 copies of pirated Microsoft software.