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BSA Welcomes Assurance that China’s State-Owned Enterprises Must Use Legal Software

Verifying compliance will be critical, says BSA

WASHINGTON, DC — December 20, 2012 —

BSA | The Software Alliance today welcomed an assurance from China that it requires its state-owned enterprises, which account for a substantial share of the country’s economy, to use only legal software. The promise came in the annual ministerial meeting of the US-China Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade (JCCT), held December 18–19 in Washington.

“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. “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.”

Nearly four out of five personal computers in China run unlicensed software, according to BSA’s most recent Global Software Piracy Study. The commercial value of that piracy rose to $8.9 billion in 2011 — an amount that has more than doubled since 2005.

“I commend US Trade Representative Ron Kirk and Acting Commerce Secretary Rebecca Blank for keeping enterprise software piracy at the top of the bilateral economic agenda with China,” said Holleyman. “I hope the assurances China has given today signal progress that we will be able to measure in increased software sales and exports. That result would be to the benefit of both US and Chinese software makers and the ecosystem of legitimate distributors and service providers they support.”

Among other significant results of the 2012 JCCT, Chinese officials reaffirmed that technology transfer and technology cooperation will not be a precondition for market access. China also pledged to revise a restrictive measure known as the Multi-level Protection Scheme (MLPS), which prevents foreign companies from selling IT security products to broad sectors of the Chinese economy. Similarly, it promised to hold a technical dialogue on improving cybersecurity in critical infrastructure.

About BSA

BSA | The Software Alliance ( is the leading global advocate for the software industry. It is an association of world-class companies that invest billions of dollars annually to create software solutions that spark the economy and improve modern life. Through international government relations, intellectual property enforcement and educational activities, BSA expands the horizons of the digital world and builds trust and confidence in the new technologies driving it forward.

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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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