China’s number-three PC producer, Tsinghua Tongfang, is expected to announce on Thursday that it will begin shipping products pre-loaded with authentic copies of Microsoft’s Windows operating system, The Wall Street Journal reports.
Lenovo Group, China’s number-one PC producer by market share, began shipping computers with Windows and another software pack already installed in December, and number two Founder Technology followed its lead shortly afterward, according to The Journal.
The agreement between Tsinghua Tongfang and Microsoft represents the most recent effort by a Chinese company to address the piracy concerns that are hampering trade between the United States and China. Microsoft operates a large-scale R&D lab in China, but the majority of users in that country use “bootleg” versions of the company’s products because they can be obtained for a cheap price on city streets, The Journal reports.
The Chinese government has recently mounted increasing pressure on manufacturers of PCs to address software piracy, and as a result, more and more companies are installing software on machines before they reach retailers, according to The Journal.
China’s Vice Premier Wu Yi is currently visiting the United States, accompanied by a number of Tsinghua Tongfang executives, where she will convene with government officials on the topic of improving commercial relations between the two nations, The Journal reports. Hu Jintao, China’s president, will also make a stop at Microsoft’s Redmond, Wash., campus later this month as part of his U.S. visit, according to The Journal.
Regarding Tsinghua Tongfang’s expected announcement, Tim Chen, a Microsoft vice president, said, “Microsoft is encouraging a healthy intellectual property environment which will enable China to grow as a knowledge economy,” according to The Journal.
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