Microsoft enlists TCL Group as ally against Chinese pirates

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Microsoft has claimed a victory in its long-running battle against Chinese software pirates after the TCL Group, one of the leading PC manufacturers in China, signed a Windows cooperative engagement agreement with the software giant.

Under the terms of the agreement, the two companies are committed to working together to promoting the use of validly licensed versions of Microsoft software products on TCL-branded PC products for the Chinese market.

The agreement aims to help enhance the use of genuine software, and the respect for and protection of intellectual property in China, Microsoft said.

The agreement was signed at a ceremony in Los Angeles, attended by Chinese vice premier Wu Yi, during recent economic and trade talks with U.S. government representatives.

"Starting in June, TCL will pre-install genuine Windows software on all its PC product lines and plans to purchase licenses of Windows worth $60 million for the coming three years," said Yang Weiqiang, vice president of TCL Group. "TCL is committed to intellectual property rights protection because we understand our customers can benefit from higher quality, security, reliability, product support and a better user experience by using genuine software."

"Microsoft is committed to devoting resources to promote the use of genuine software and to working with partners to ensure that our customers get the most out of their PCs through the use of genuine software," added Tim Chen, corporate vice president and chief executive officer of the Greater China Region at Microsoft. "This agreement is in line with our strategy of growing in sync with China's local IT industry."

According to a May 2005 study from the Business Software Alliance, only around ten percent of software currently used in China is actually legally licensed. However, recently, the Chinese government has called for state-owned enterprises to take the lead in using genuine software as a way to protect intellectual property.

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