According to the Business Software Alliance (BSA), business software piracy rates worldwide have fallen from nearly 50 percent in 1994 to 36 percent in 1999 (Gruenwald 2001). However, the illegal reproduction and distribution of copyrighted computer software continues to be a major problem encountered by software manufacturers in the Chinese market. BSA statistics indicate that 94 percent of the software used by Chinese corporations was pirated during 2000 as compared to 91 percent in 1999 (BSA 2001). Even in 1996, Chinese officials estimated software piracy to be a $16 billion per year problem (Smith 1996). The 3 percent increase in software piracy between 1999 and 2000 was due to an increase in computer usage and a decline in government enforcement efforts. Since the Chinese government does not consistently prosecute piracy violators, the sale of illegal software has increased. There are over 20 plants in China that manufacture pirated software, many of which are state-owned (Ho 2001). Obviously the Chinese government engages in and profits from the piracy trade. The BSA estimates that the revenue lost from pirating in China represents one fourth of the loss from the entire Asian-Pacific region. Software piracy first emerged as a problem in Hong Kong, and quickly spread to Mainland China and other surrounding countries. Many Chinese citizens believe sharing software is not stealing. Furthermore, most software purchased is already pirated.
Date of creation, presentation, or exhibit
Department, Program, or Center
Cook, Jack; Chan, Ben; and Barber, Patrick, "Software piracy in China" (2002). Accessed from
RIT – Main Campus