Law & Policy

CAS: China's Policy To Protect Own Software Won't Change

According to an academic at CAS, China's policy to protect the China-made software will not change.

In order to boost the development of software industry, China has made a series of policies including "Compendium for reviving the software industry", in which the government's purchase of China-made software is particularly stressed as a way to support the industry. The government will give priority to China-made software on the condition that they have same quality as foreign products.

To further implement the compendium, under the leadership of the National Information Standards Organization, the related government departments and China's software companies began to draft a Guide for the standardization of electronic government affairs and standards of e-government affairs in Aug. 2003, which are expected to help define China-made software and non China-made software, and make clear the proportion of China-made software in the total amount of government purchases.

According to Ni Guangnan, an academic at the Chinese Academy of Sciences who has been participating in drafting of the guide, China will not abandon the protection of its own software in the field of government purchasing, even though it has joined the WTO.

China's regulations regarding purchases, particularly the regulation that governments must purchase China-made software, conform to the WTO framework agreements. He believes that the Chinese government ought to put more effort into supporting the software industry. "In 2002 the government spent 4 bln yuan in software purchase, representing only 14.1% of the total amount spent on software in the Chinese market. While some countries' government purchases make up 1/3 of the total value. So the government purchasing of software will increase greatly in the future."

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