"China is the world's second-largest buyer of personal computers, but only the 25th-largest buyer of software," according to the MercuryNews. Yesterday Chinese premier Hu Jintao visited Bill Gates in Seatlle and asked him to have confidence in the measures the Chinese government is taking to close the gap and protect IPRs.
Should Gates keep the faith? What has Beijing done for Gates in order to protect Microsoft's IPRs so far and deserve his trust?
Beijing says it has got rid of pirated software in all government offices. This operation cost 150 million yuan ($17.47 million) according to Wang Ziqiang, spokesman for the National Copyright Administration (中文）.
Now Beijing is about to get rid of pirated software in other state-owned companies.
Preceding Hu's visit is was announced that Tsingha Tong, the third Chinese PC producer, after Lenovo and Founder, will pre-install legal versions of Microsoft's operating software. So combined they agreed to buy about $420 million in Windows licenses over the next three years.
Besides, some other concrete measures were announced before the Bush-Hu meeting, read here. The editorial of the Mercury News thinks this is the result of soft diplomacy, read here.
But, if Gates would walk around Beijing's Zhongguancun computer shops and stalls, like Chris Buckley did for Reuters, he probably would be little bit less happy. Read Buckley's experience here.
Update: Lenovo signed a 1.2 billion US dollar deal to use Microsoft software, read here.