Press Releases

BSA Says New Commitment By China to Audit Government Software Is Incremental Progress, But Fails to Directly Address the Piracy Problem

Washington — January 19, 2011 —

In connection with Chinese President Hu Jintao’s visit to the United States this week, China today announced plans to involve state audit authorities in monitoring the purchase and management of legal software by its government. The Business Software Alliance (BSA) welcomed this step to track software acquisitions, account for the software government uses the way it tracks other assets, and publish the results. But BSA characterized today’s announcements as incremental progress and a long way from what is required to address the problem of unlicensed use of software in China.

Software piracy is growing faster in China than in any other market, according to the annual BSA-IDC Global Software Piracy Study. Nearly four out of five programs installed on personal computers there — 79 percent — are not paid for as they should be. And because China’s overall market for information technology is growing rapidly, the commercial value of that software piracy nearly doubled from $3.9 billion in 2005 to $7.6 billion in 2009.

“Software industry goals have been very specific — to lower piracy rates and increase sales and exports for the software makers whose products are currently being used but not paid for,” said BSA President and CEO Robert Holleyman. “The incremental measures announced today do not go far enough in ensuring legal software use. We appreciate the tremendous effort the US government has made and expect that, going forward, these intense efforts will continue as part of the US government’s comprehensive strategy for improving the enforcement of intellectual property rights in China.”

“We appreciate the commitments China has made in recent trade negotiations to move government agencies to the use of legal software,” Holleyman said. “But at the end of the day, we will only know China is buying legal software when we see it reflected in software companies’ sales figures. Today, we are not seeing an increase.”

“The way to systematically address software piracy in government and any large organization is to implement proven, internationally recognized practices that ensure an enterprise is efficiently managing its software, including that the enterprise is not using software beyond what is licensed. It remains to be seen whether the audit process China announced today will do that. It is our understanding that it will merely account for the total value of the government’s purchases.”

About BSA

The Business Software Alliance ( is the world’s foremost advocate for the software industry, working in 80 countries to expand software markets and create conditions for innovation and growth. Governments and industry partners look to BSA for thoughtful approaches to key policy and legal issues, recognizing that software plays a critical role in driving economic and social progress in all nations. BSA’s member companies invest billions of dollars a year in local economies, good jobs, and next-generation solutions that will help people around the world be more productive, connected, and secure. BSA members include Adobe, Altium, Apple, Autodesk, AVEVA, AVG, Bentley Systems, CA Technologies, Cadence, CNC/Mastercam, Corel, Dassault Systèmes SolidWorks Corporation, Dell, Intel, Intuit, Kaspersky Lab, McAfee, Microsoft, Minitab, PTC, Progress Software, Quark, Quest Software, Rosetta Stone, Siemens, Sybase, Symantec, and The MathWorks.

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About BSA

BSA | The Software Alliance ( is the leading advocate for the global software industry before governments and in the international marketplace. Its members are among the world’s most innovative companies, creating software solutions that spark the economy and improve modern life. With headquarters in Washington, DC, and operations in more than 60 countries, BSA pioneers compliance programs that promote legal software use and advocates for public policies that foster technology innovation and drive growth in the digital economy.
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