Microsoft identifies 13 Shanghai PC resellers involved in Windows piracy

Microsoft could take legal action against the resellers if a settlement isn't reached

Microsoft has identified 13 PC resellers based in Shanghai that it claims have been distributing counterfeit versions of its Windows OS, and the company could take legal action against them if a settlement isn't reached.

Microsoft made the announcement on Tuesday as part of its latest anti-piracy campaign in China. The 13 resellers deal in PC brands including Acer, Asus, Dell, HP and Lenovo, Microsoft said in a statement.

"We have reached out to them to discuss a solution to their infringement activity. We reserve the right to take further legal action against them if settlement cannot be reached," the company added in an email.

Microsoft took similar action in December against 16 other PC resellers for allegedly distributing counterfeit versions of Windows. The company has been in contact with the Beijing resellers, and in most cases Microsoft is actively discussing the terms of a settlement, said Nick Psyhogeos, vice president of Microsoft's original equipment manufacturer business solutions group, in an email earlier this month.

The settlements would include the resellers paying damages and agreeing to stop distributing counterfeit Windows products, he added. If a settlement isn't reached, Microsoft will take legal action against the reseller.

The U.S. software giant has spent years battling piracy in China, now the world's largest market for PC shipments. The company has done so through legal action and public awareness campaigns, the most recent of which has tried to highlight the security dangers of using the pirated products.

Microsoft's recent tests of Chinese PCs bought from local shops in China show that all were installed with pirated copies of Windows. 91 percent of the Windows versions also contained malware or intentional security vulnerabilities that could steal user data such as passwords and credit card information.

The high rate of piracy on the PCs in China can be traced to manufacturers installing a free, but non-Windows operating system on the device before it ships, according to Psyhogeos. The original equipment manufacturers do this to keep costs down, but these PCs will likely be re-installed later with a pirated version of Windows before they go to sale to customers, he said.

In October, Microsoft said it would stop selling Windows as a boxed product in the country, leaving online downloads as the only legal channel through which to buy an after-market copy of Windows.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Microsoftlegaloperating systemssoftwareWindowsintellectual propertyWindows desktop

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Michael Kan

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?