Chinese govt may snub foreign software

30 November 2004 – Beijing (CHN): The Chinese government is drafting a new set of guidelines aimed at wiping out pirated software, which could limit government spending on foreign software, according to officials and academics.

The planned restrictions, which aim to ensure that government offices buy legitimate software, may favour China’s own up and coming software companies as opposed to foreign software retailers who may have to qualify as "preferred non-domestic" software suppliers before selling their products.

The news comes at a crucial time for foreign software companies who are currently trying to tap into China’s potentially enormous public sector, which is expected to spend 14 billion yuan ($1.69 billion) on software in 2004.

"They haven’t specifically excluded foreign companies from participating, but it looks like a step towards that," Michael Judd, Asia Pacific director of public policy for the Computing Technology Industry Association told the Wall Street Journal. "It has the potential to lock a big portion of our members out of a very significant part of the market."