Feeds

Adobe chief threatens to abandon Asia over piracy

Simple business decision

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

ComputerWire: IT Industry Intelligence

Adobe Systems Inc last week threatened to stop supporting Chinese language versions of its software because of persistent pirating of its products in China and other Asian markets. The threat was made by Adobe's CEO Bruce Chizen in an interview with the Hong Kong English language newspaper, the South China Morning Post.

In the interview, Chizen said piracy was causing Adobe to lose money in some Asian markets. "It is a simple business decision. It costs $750,000 to localize an application for the Chinese language and if we are only going to make $500,000 in revenue it does not make sense for us to go ahead," Chizen said, adding, "Until the Chinese Government and its citizens realize they are hurting themselves [by using illegally copied software] it is hard for us to make an investment."

Other western software companies have suffered at the hands of Chinese software pirates who, according to the Business Software Alliance, a copyright
protection group, were responsible for producing 94% of all software distributed in China in 2000. Microsoft Corp in particular has suffered from piracy, and estimates to have lost $4.1bn in revenue to pirates in 2000.

Last year, however, Microsoft appeared to have healed relations with Chinese authorities after a visit to Beijing by Bill Gates prompted the government to proclaim a clamp-down on pirated software used in the public sector (which includes many state-owned enterprises).

Microsoft and other western software vendors appear to have convinced the Chinese government that a laissez-faire attititude to piracy (which undoubtedly helped spur the penetration of computer systems in Chinese business and government during the 1990s) was ultimately strangling the efforts of China's indigenous software developers to set up businesses of their own. With China now officially pursuing India's example, and setting out to create a major software export industry, the threat posed to this ambition by piracy is may no longer be acceptable.

However, in his interview with the SCMP, Chizen was skeptical of Asian efforts to stamp out piracy, and clearly believes that more needs to be done to justify further investment in Asia. He told the SCMP public statements by government had not produced any noticeable change in sales, and claimed to have recently paid just $3 for a pirated CD of his company's entire software portfolio in a trip to Beijing.

Referring to critics of western companies who blame them for encouraging piracy by charging high prices, Chizen said it was impossible to compete with dealers prepared to sell a complete Adobe suite for just $3.

© ComputerWire.com. All rights reserved.

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Euro Parliament VOTES to BREAK UP GOOGLE. Er, OK then
It CANNA do it, captain.They DON'T have the POWER!
Download alert: Nearly ALL top 100 Android, iOS paid apps hacked
Attack of the Clones? Yeah, but much, much scarier – report
NSA SOURCE CODE LEAK: Information slurp tools to appear online
Now you can run your own intelligence agency
Post-Microsoft, post-PC programming: The portable REVOLUTION
Code jockeys: count up and grab your fabulous tablets
Twitter App Graph exposes smartphone spyware feature
You don't want everyone to compile app lists from your fondleware? BAD LUCK
Microsoft: Your Linux Docker containers are now OURS to command
New tool lets admins wrangle Linux apps from Windows
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing and building an open ITOA architecture
Learn about a new IT data taxonomy defined by the four data sources of IT visibility: wire, machine, agent, and synthetic data sets.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
5 critical considerations for enterprise cloud backup
Key considerations when evaluating cloud backup solutions to ensure adequate protection security and availability of enterprise data.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Driving business with continuous operational intelligence
Introducing an innovative approach offered by ExtraHop for producing continuous operational intelligence.