A government-backed investigation has found that 26 percent of the software packages installed on computers throughout the country in 2005 were illegal, pirated copies.
That figure jumps to 66 percent if free and open-source software products are excluded from the calculations.
Independent consulting company chinalabs.com conducted the investigation. The research report has been approved in principle by the State Intellectual Property Office (SIPO), which entrusted the company to carry out the project.
The report marks the first time China has publicized the results of investigations into software piracy rates. The only sources available to the public up to this point have been from US-based Business Software Alliance, which estimated China's piracy rate at about 90 percent in 2005.
(China Daily May 15, 2006)