Ballmer: Piracy Cost Microsoft 95 Percent of Revenue in China

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said earlier this week that piracy costs his company 95 percent of potential revenue in China. Ballmer made the comments in a speech at the opening of the new Asia-Pacific R&D Group headquarters in Beijing. Ballmer rejected the notion that software piracy is rampant in China because PC Software costs too much. He claimed that if someone can afford to purchase a PC in China, they could afford to buy the software to run on it. Most people in China can’t afford to own a computer, let alone Windows 7..

Ballmer went on to say that Microsoft earned six times more per PC sold in countries such as India compared to China, and that if Chinese IP protection were as strong as India’s then the market would be worth "billions of dollars."

Software makers, pirates and the Chinese government have been at odds for a very long time over piracy. Software makers want the government to enforce IP protection laws, pirates do as they see fit because software is pretty expensive and out of reach to citizens, and the government does very little to deal with either problem.

According to data from the Business Software Alliance, 78 percent of software used in China last year was pirated, down from 86 percent in 2005. I suppose that’s something to be excited about.

Source: Ars Technica

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on Google+Share on RedditEmail this to someone


  1. 0
    Grif says:

    I have a bet going with my friend to see who will make the first unbreakable DRM. I’m betting on Apple, he thinks it’ll be Microsoft. Although this bet may have to be bequeathed to our grandchildren.


    "Power means nothing without honor and pride." My video game review site.

    Atlanta Video Games Examiner for

  2. 0
    koichan says:

    If the price is not affordable for people in the region they’re not going to buy it.

    If they somehow managed the impossible and got an unbreakable drm system going, they probably wouldn’t get any more sales but would wipe out windows usage in the region.

  3. 0
    Speeder says:

    The "potential revenue" thing is pure bullshit.


    Ballmer needs to learn from Mr. Gates that once said:


    "If they have to pirate, than I want them to pirate from me."


    — Maurício Gomes

Leave a Reply