"We've been quite clear that we're going to operate in China," Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said in an interview on CNBC.
However, his hopes for China to produce growing revenue for the company seem to hinge on a thorny issue: a reduction of piracy and intellectual-property theft.
"China ought to be a source of growth," Ballmer said. "Intellectual-property protection in China is very, very bad. Abysmal. ... We're buying a lot of goods from China but the things that U.S. companies can sell -- pharmaceutical products, media, software -- it's all intellectual property and design, and that stuff's not getting paid for in China. It's got to change."
His reference to the problem of IP theft points to bigger challenges Microsoft could face if it decided to leave China. Microsoft has been battling software piracy there for years, and pulling out of the country could amount to it giving up the battle and allowing piracy of its products to flourish unchecked.
In the interview, Ballmer did not raise the issue of censorship or human rights, which Google said were central to its new approach to the country.
Google said Tuesday that it planned to stop censoring its search results in China after discovering the theft of some of its intellectual property during a "sophisticated cyberattack" originating in the country, and learning that Gmail accounts of human rights advocates had been broken into. It acknowledged that, as a result, it would likely no longer be welcome to operate in China.
Microsoft, Google and many other companies have been criticized for complying with China's censorship laws in order to do business in the country.
- Five Steps to Achieve Success in your Application Security Program This white paper provides a general framework your organization can use to create or build upon an application security program. It includes guidelines...
- Unlock the Value of Enterprise Mobility Download this guide and learn how to manage the secure deployment of enterprise mobile apps and data, while still encouraging the levels of...
- Rebranded Quadmark revamps its IT solutions with Google Apps Switching to Google Apps halved Quadmark's IT admin costs while achieving 10% time savings per employee. The global consulting firm now spends 80%...
- Manufacturing Outlook: Improving time to market, operational effectiveness and innovation in a highly competitive environment An enterprise project portfolio management solution can help manufacturers position themselves in the new competitive landscape.
- Live Webcast
Transforming Finance, Procurement and Supply Chain Effectiveness with Cross-Functional Analytics
Date: May 6th, 2014
Time: 1 PM EDT
Attend this Webcast to find out how Oracle's packaged analytic applications enable line-of-business managers to examine all...
- Video Stream Quality Impacts Viewer Behavior This scientific white paper, using statistical data from Amakai's streaming network, analyzes how changes in video quality cause changes in viewer behavior.
- Service-Enabling CICS Applications: Best Practices This informative webcast provides an informed, thorough look into CICS service-enablement options and how they can affect your environment. You'll learn how to... All Applications White Papers | Webcasts