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Chinese police, Microsoft and the U.S. FBI helped bust a major Chinese piracy ring

A multi-year investigation by Chinese police investigators and the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation led to the dismantling of a piracy ring responsible for pirating and distributing up to $2 billion of software.  The two-year investigation led to the demise of two criminal organizations - located in Shanghai and Shenzhen - and included up to 25 arrests according to officials from both nations.  Police found pirated software valued at $500 million after conducting the raid in Shenzhen.

Using information provided by the FBI Los Angeles bureau and Microsoft, the China Public Security Bureau (PSB) was finally able to target sources responsible for pirating large amounts of software from companies such as Microsoft and Symantec.

During the investigation, authorities were able to track more than 50,000 copies of software which was considered "sophisticated-quality."  As many as 290,000 counterfeit software CDs were also confiscated during the raids in Shanghai and Shenzhen.

"This case represents a milestone in the fight against software piracy - governments, law enforcement agencies and private companies working together with customers and software resellers to break up a massive international counterfeiting ring," said Brad Smith, Microsoft general counsel and senior vice president.  "This case should serve as a wake-up call to counterfeiters," he added.

The FBI reported that it believes the majority of the software (70 percent) was distributed to users in the United States, while the remaining pirated goods went to countries like Canada, the U.K., Australia and Japan.

The China PSB continues to be engaged in a long but tiresome battle against piracy, as China remains the leading source of pirated goods in the world.  The Business Software Alliance reported that 82 percent of software used in China is likely pirated.





"Paying an extra $500 for a computer in this environment -- same piece of hardware -- paying $500 more to get a logo on it? I think that's a more challenging proposition for the average person than it used to be." -- Steve Ballmer






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