Microsoft considers China policy

A senior executive for Microsoft has said the firm could pull out of non-democratic countries such as China.

Fred Tipson, senior policy counsel for the computer giant, said concerns over the repressive regime might force it to reconsider its business in China.

"Things are getting bad... and perhaps we have to look again at our presence there," he told a conference in Athens.

"We have to decide if the persecuting of bloggers reaches a point that it's unacceptable to do business there."

"We try to define those levels and the trends are not good there at the moment. It's a moving target."

Earlier in the day, speaking at the Internet Governance Forum, Mr Tipson had defended the work Microsoft was doing in China.

At a session about openness he denied that some big businesses were "colluding" with certain governments.

View: BBC Story

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lol i hope that m$ pull out of china maybe then china can create a good competition to microsoft products.

but i don't think that m$ will pull out anytime soon, china its one of the biggest market its not business wise

If MS actually pull out, well that would be pretty unexpected. But it's not like MS are desperate for profits. And large % of windows users there would be using pirate copies.

Yo! MS failed to assassinate China!

Many nations already tried to do same in the past... They failed too.

It's just impossible to fight against water!

The American government is all too willing to overlook China's massive human rights violations, and has given it "Most Favored Nations" status when it comes to trade. Microsoft isn't going to pull out. After all, who will manufacture their stuff? This is an empty threat.

I agree, by making a public statement/threat, they are now going to do nothing and leave us all thinking "Gosh, MS really cares about human rights violations."
Look for Freedom Manager service in Vienna which sends all your blog text to the Chinese censors.
One thing I have always wondered about is intellectual property rights in China. It was my understanding that on a cultural level, Chinese perceive the act of creation as a process of channeling ideas and energies from the world around you. Thus no one person owns a song, a program, a painting, because they merely acted as a conduit for the energy around them to create the item in question. I have always heard that piracy is rampant because of this, because on a social level Chinese (supposedly) just don't respect copyright and IP laws. I also recall MS many years ago being upset about the sheer level of piracy of XP after its release, specifically in China, being the worst offender.
If this is true it makes me wonder what the actual value of the Chinese market is to them.
Also consider that not too long ago the Chinese government was accused of more or less sponsoring a 'fake' NEC company, i.e., a company manufacturing goods identical to NEC goods, branded with the NEC brand, and having employee uniforms identical to those of NEC employees, NEC stationary, the whole nine yards. NEC eventually found out and was very upset that the Chinese government apparently left the people responsible for this whole fiasco with a slap on the wrist. See also how the Chinese government has more or less funded the theft of processor design, etc.
They are, I think, interested more in what is good for China and its people than, I'm guessing, what some American company Microsoft makes in profits each quarter... so maybe the government is less concerned with piracy than it could be.
Also, if it takes a Chinese worker months to earn enough money to buy a copy of Vista, you either aren't going to sell it to them, or you are going to have to discount it massively.
For reference see Barry Manilow's "I am the music and I write the songs" (featured on this weeks Colbert Report, duet with Steven Colbert)

@Foub : And who will buy china products?,U.S is perhaps the greter importer of china goods in the world,with a comercial ban,you forgot all the anti-china groups at the US,a boycott of their products will create a massive problem in china,millions and millions will loose their jobs,and they will be a general hunger.THIS ISN'T AN EMPTY THREAT!

Quote - Foub said @ #4
This is an empty threat.
I'm not even sure it qualifies as that much. I think it's more of a "look, we're concerned" statement, but in practise, the chances of MS pulling out from China? You and I will be married before that day comes around...

I agree with you 100%. Microsoft wouldn't ditch a market that large. I highly doubt any company would want to ditch a market with such numbers.

And there are 5 billion people in the rest of the world. Doing business in an ethical way is becoming more and more important. Not every one in the rest of the world would care what Microsoft would or wouldn't do, but some might actually care about that. If enough people - Microsoft's customers - start to say bad things about Microsoft doing business in China, it could hurt Microsoft really badly.

And Microsoft is still more or less Bill Gates'. He's giving a lot to charity, which helps getting a good image. It would be strange if, at the one hand, their promoting information societies with charity, and on the other hand do business with a country that suppresses freedom of speech.

But the problem is that it might be better for the peopel of chien if MS did not pull out.

it's the same as witht he google issue. china gives google an ultimatum to either get out, or provide a china friendly google. Google could pull out, but at the same time as they do that, the deprive the chinese peoepl of even more access to information thant hey do by providing them with a filtered google.

oh and tot he OP, writign MS with a $ make you look lilke an idiot. it's not cool, it's nto smart. it's just stupid.

Quote - Lazih3nri said @ #1.1
I agree with you 100%. Microsoft wouldn't ditch a market that large. I highly doubt any company would want to ditch a market with such numbers.

True. But they should get out of China & other undemocratic countries.