China wages war on soaring piracy rates

China has passed legislation ensuring that PC manufacturers have to install a registered and legal operating system on PCs before they go on sale to the public.

The news comes after trade talks between the USA and China in Washington on Tuesday, though China have denied that the move is due to foreign pressure. The much needed move hopes to tackle China's alarming software piracy rate, which stood at 90% in 2004 - as opposed to the world average of 35%.

The new regulation will affect both Chinese and international PC manufacturers, who - along with operating system providers - will have to report the number of systems sold and installed to the Chinese Ministry of Information Industry (MII).

Wanq Ziqiang, who works for the State Copyright Bureau insisted: "This is about the country's economic development."

The country's internet-savvy population is expected to reach 187 million by 2008.

The new law co-incides with Google's official launch of their Chinese service, "Gu Ge".

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