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Microsoft CEO: China 'must step up' on IP theft

A Chinese knock-off
A Chinese knock-off

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has called for the Chinese government to 'step up' its enforcement of copyright laws.

Ballmer told the London School of Economics that the Chinese market was about to become the biggest for smartphones and computers, and that it was the Chinese manufacturers that would suffer most with a laissez faire attitude towards copyright.

"The enforcement in China needs to be stepped up," said Ballmer. "The Chinese government already hears this message.

China syndrome

"It's more of a problem for Chinese companies that want to innovate. IP [intellectual property] becomes more important."

China is one of the most important manufacturing regions for technology, but the government is not renowned for cracking down on cheap knock-offs or pirated software that floods the local market.

Microsoft has also suffered with key software products like Windows and Office being heavily pirated in the region, and Ballmer admitted that a crackdown would be "good for us".