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China Plans Domestic Software Quotas

michael posted more than 10 years ago | from the self-defense dept.

Microsoft 473

October_30th writes "In order to fight the alleged Microsoft monopoly, the Chinese government is establishing quotas for foreign software. While the details are still unclear, the government may require that up to 70% of software on Chinese computers is produced domestically. Regulations like this are, of course, expected to come under fierce criticism from the WTO."

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Communism + Outside Monopoly = (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8419949)

FUN!

WTO (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8419950)

the WTO can gtf shitty bastards

In other news... (4, Funny)

blackwizard (62282) | more than 10 years ago | (#8419953)

In order to fight the alleged monopoly on Chinese clothing in America, the United States government is establishing quotas for foreign clothing. While the details are still unclear, the government may require that up to 70% of clothing worn by North Americans be produced domestically. Regulations like this are, of course, expected to come under fierce criticism from the WTO.

Re:In other news... (2, Insightful)

Da Fokka (94074) | more than 10 years ago | (#8419967)

Not being able to use sweatshops as much would greatly reduce the profit for companies that sell clothing :)

Re:In other news... (4, Insightful)

Killswitch1968 (735908) | more than 10 years ago | (#8420009)

This is a bullshit argument.

You really have to put yourself into a Chinese man's shoes to understand. If a company goes overseas and offers you a job that pays $0.70/h, 12 hours a day, in a tiny little hot room, there's no way you would do it, right?
Not necessarily. Getting $0.70/h may be a blessing if the alternative is making $0.40/h for a domestic company, or more likely not working at all. We can only assume that because this Chinese man freely accepts the job that no other better alternatives exist. To remove this job opportunity for him may make us feel morally superior, but it won't help him put food on the table.

Re:In other news... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8420041)

then why do you USians whine so much when IT-jobs move to india? I'm sure they'd stay if you lazy bastards did them for $0.70/h.

Re:In other news... (1)

black mariah (654971) | more than 10 years ago | (#8420064)

Three words: cost of living.

bullshit argument (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8420084)

if the average USian made $0.70/h, cost of living would drop.

Re:bullshit argument (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8420117)

If the average US citizen made $0.70/hr, they wouldn't be able to afford the products made by companies that would be forced to produce them at below-cost to meet the buying potential of their customers. Therefore, these companies go out of business, further adding to the ranks of the unemployed, who can now no longer afford to purchase products by the surviving companies, who now are forced to cut prices again to meet the buying potential of their customers.

Now all that's left is Wal-Mart, and nobody can afford a basket of radishes there anymore.

Wages aren't the only costs involved in production.

Re:bullshit argument (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8420152)

So? And the US becomes the new china, that provides low-cost labour to the rich world. what does it matter on the grand scale of things? Manufacturers can export their products.

Re:bullshit argument (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8420183)


Two words: Global Depression

Re:bullshit argument (-1, Flamebait)

black mariah (654971) | more than 10 years ago | (#8420148)

No, dipshit, it wouldn't. If the average American (we're not fucking USians, goddammit) made $.70/h, you would have what's called a DEPRESSION. We had one of those a few years back, you might want to read up on it.

Re:bullshit argument (-1, Troll)

rokzy (687636) | more than 10 years ago | (#8420187)

America is the continent dipshit.

Re:In other news... (4, Insightful)

Killswitch1968 (735908) | more than 10 years ago | (#8420127)

This is an explanation, not a suggested course of action. It may seem an 'unfair' disparity, but any attempt to legislate against such 'unfairness' will ultimately make things even more unfair.

One such 'suggestion' is tarrifs. This will undoubtedly put millions of Chinese laborers out of work, and will also drive up the price of the good that consumers pay. The only 'benefit' is allowing a domestic competetitor to overcharge their customers. That is what I would call unfair. Even if x number of Americans become unemployed I can guarantee they will be infinitely better off than if 100x Chinese are unemployed.

Re:In other news... (1, Flamebait)

SphynxSR (584774) | more than 10 years ago | (#8420111)

Actually the USians work more hours than most people in the world. They are not at the top, but I think they are number 2.

just so you know how indoctrinated you are... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8420044)

He didn't mention anything about that in his post. Good job countering it though, those are all pretty standard (thus hard-to-disprove) arguments.

His point was companies would make less profit. They would. Paying some Chinese guy $0.70/hr is a lot less expensive than paying someone domestic $10./hr.

Re:In other news... (1, Interesting)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | more than 10 years ago | (#8420079)

If a company goes overseas and offers you a job that pays $0.70/h, 12 hours a day, in a tiny little hot room, there's no way you would do it, right?

Actually China is losing manufacturing jobs faster than any country on earth. Insufficient investment in infrastructure is making China expensive compared to more developed countries like Mexico.

Re:In other news... (3, Insightful)

Killswitch1968 (735908) | more than 10 years ago | (#8420102)

I heavily doubt this claim, but even if it were true China also has record GDP growth. They may lose a million manufacturer jobs, but if they gain 2 million service jobs they're sitting pretty.

Re:In other news... (2, Insightful)

AresTheImpaler (570208) | more than 10 years ago | (#8420184)

Don't have any doubts.. I live in the border town of McAllen, TX (actually we are not really on theborder, but about 10 min. from it). Reynosa (which is the city on the Mexican side of the border) was losing a lot of works because the "maquiladoras" were leaving. Since about a year, maybe more maybe less, a lot of companies are coming back. Some cities on this side of the river, like Mcallen [medc.org] , Pharr, etc. are helping Reynosa, because lots of money comes also their way.

Re:In other news... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8420150)

"Getting $0.70/h may be a blessing if the alternative is making $0.40/h for a domestic company, or more likely not working at all. We can only assume that because this Chinese man freely accepts the job that no other better alternatives exist. To remove this job opportunity for him may make us feel morally superior, but it won't help him put food on the table."

Still, that does not give companies the right to go to foreign countries and extort the natives. If companies that outsource jobs provided decent working conditions and wages that did not leave said workers living in utter squalor, I would have no qualms with outsourcing. However, that is obviously not how things work. I'm tired of my fellow Americans regarding people who reside in third world countries as half-human. Who cares if we treat them like shit, since they'd be stuck in shit without us. Right?

When Americans were being treated by companies the way the people in third world countries are being treated now, they went on strikes until they got what they deserved. However, if people in third world countries go on strikes, we'll just outsource to a different country or region. They'll be poor with or without us, so who cares? No blood on our hands.

Heh. (2, Funny)

Freston Youseff (628628) | more than 10 years ago | (#8419954)

Bloody brilliant. Maybe the state banks will be able to pick up the slack on this one. Probably not.

Alleged? (3, Funny)

Flingles (698457) | more than 10 years ago | (#8419958)

In order to fight the alleged Microsoft monopoly

Maybe they should make some alleged quotas if it's only an alleged monopoly?

Nothing 'alleged' about Microsoft's monopoly (4, Insightful)

ddbsa (526686) | more than 10 years ago | (#8419959)

Re:Nothing 'alleged' about Microsoft's monopoly (2, Insightful)

athakur999 (44340) | more than 10 years ago | (#8420035)

Although the lengthy statement--called a "finding of fact"--was not a verdict


The article doesn't mean that MS had been convicted of being monopoly (hence the "alleged").

Re:Nothing 'alleged' about Microsoft's monopoly (4, Insightful)

KarmaMB84 (743001) | more than 10 years ago | (#8420040)

The *US* federal judge's judgement only applies to the US. MS may or may not have a monopoly in China or anywhere ele. That is for them to decide.

I wonder if MS actually got paid for the operating systems that comprise their "monopoly" in China...

Re:Nothing 'alleged' about Microsoft's monopoly (2, Interesting)

TheLinuxSRC (683475) | more than 10 years ago | (#8420062)

Granted M$ is a convicted monopolist, but karma whoring with a 5 year old article is ridiculous. Whoever it was that modded this Insightful needs to RTFL (Read The Fine Link). This is ancient history.

Re:Nothing 'alleged' about Microsoft's monopoly (1)

TheLinuxSRC (683475) | more than 10 years ago | (#8420135)

Talking (replying) to myself... ;)

The judgement that is linked to was overthrown (yes, it was Thomas Penfield Jackson's ruling that was appealed). Look at this poster's history. [slashdot.org]

Re:Nothing 'alleged' about Microsoft's monopoly (3, Informative)

Osrin (599427) | more than 10 years ago | (#8420087)

You can't convict somebody of being a monopolist, there is legally nothing wrong with having a monopoly in any given market. You can however convict a company of not acting responsibly with the monopoly that they hold.

Sov... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8419961)

In Soviet Russia, trade wars start you!

Silly china (2, Insightful)

anphilip (737117) | more than 10 years ago | (#8419962)

Silly China, when will they learn that protectionist trade barriers cause depressions

Re:Silly china (3, Insightful)

Lord Haha (753617) | more than 10 years ago | (#8420017)

Well they have their 5 year plans now don't they. (As in the plan that will govern their internal/external policy for that period of time, similar to how the USSR did back in their heyday)

So chances are 5 years from now, they might learn the lesson, then again Microsoft might suddenly start selling Linux tommorow too...

Thing is the Chinese market should be robust enough to handle using mostly domestically made software, they manage quite well with their P1 like processors in the hardware market, who says that they aren't big enough to handle such a protectionist barrier in the short term at least.

Besides that, as for being completely domestic, isn't the Chinese Linux, still underneath it all Linux so they are still importing software...

Canard. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8420029)

Hyper-greed causes depressions.

Re:Canard. (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8420095)

Not having a date for the prom causes suicidal depression!

Mod Parent UP (1)

ToadMan8 (521480) | more than 10 years ago | (#8420151)

Certainly. China, apparently, isn't very good at producing software.

A quick Economics lecture so you understand:
China produces textiles and cheap plastic toys because it's most cost effective for them to do so. If they could make more money making software some would. So now the government will put a quota limiting imports and thus (supply and demand) the price will go up. This artifically makes producing software profitable more so than what they have the comparative advantage in (what they can produce cheaper than the US can and thus trade for software from Redmond). When the government forces their citizens to make things they aren't quite efficient at it costs more money and makes China poorer.

They are a labor-centric society, perhaps they have the extra manpower to take 2 hours getting ALSA working and should just run Linux.

Where is Free Software produced? (2, Interesting)

H4x0r Jim Duggan (757476) | more than 10 years ago | (#8419963)

The wording looks flawed. Free Software respects their independence, although it's not "produced" in China. (After the IIS backdoors were discovered, every government in the world should have moved to free software - give it 10 years.)

You guessed it! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8420048)

Hacked by Chinese!

What is it with.... (0, Troll)

Chris_Stankowitz (612232) | more than 10 years ago | (#8419964)

the chinese and quotas? Quotas is to china what duct tape is to Rednecks.

Quotas are nothing new (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8419965)

SURE THEY LOOK CUTE BUT DID YOU KNOW
THE AVERAGE WEINER DOG CAN SUCK ITS
OWN WEIGHT IN COCKS AND THEREFORE AIDS
__
, ," e`--o
(( ( | __,'
\\~----------------' \_;/
poo ( /
/) ._______________. )
(( ( (( (
``-' ``-'

IANAL ... (2, Interesting)

GNUALMAFUERTE (697061) | more than 10 years ago | (#8419970)

But, they can limit Comercial (Don't confuse, i didn't say propietary, i said comercial) software, since it is actually "imported", but can they limit the use of non-comercial Free Software?, I mean, you can put a limit on how much someone can sell or buy, but _not_ in how much he thinks or listens.
If this doesn't apply to Free Non-Comercial software, that will be an amazing incentive for people to start using, or at least looking at, GNU.

Re:IANAL ... (2, Interesting)

leerpm (570963) | more than 10 years ago | (#8420033)

They can do anything they want to. But then they cannot really complain when the US reacts against this policy, and introduces a corresponding quota limiting the importation of China made software.

Re:IANAL ... (1)

KarmaMB84 (743001) | more than 10 years ago | (#8420072)

Not being a lawyer doesn't matter. We're talking about China here. They will and do tell their citizens (*factors of production) what they may or may not do.

Re:IANAL ... (3, Insightful)

GNUALMAFUERTE (697061) | more than 10 years ago | (#8420133)

Every Government treats people as beasts of burden; The USA government too, they just hide it under labels like those talking about the land of freedom and false patriotism. The first Matrix movie could be understood as a really not so subtle metaphor of our reality, the machines/governments/companys are big monsters that we fed, and they keep us worm and enchanted with virtual crap like tv, confort and hotmail. Then they transformed the movie into a virtual crap that they used to feed what is left of our controlled mind ...

Article Text, Site Slow (1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8419973)

BEIJING, FEB 27: For years, China has been trying to end Microsoft Corp.'s monopoly on its computers. It has tried to develop its own operating system. It has appealed to the patriotism of consumers. Now, it is turning to the law.

Officials say a new law will be announced by this summer requiring a minimum percentage of software purchased by the government be produced in China. That's crucial in a country where the government accounts for 25 percent of the $30 billion software market.

No one is saying what that minimum will be -- some say it may be as high as 70 percent -- but one thing is certain: Linux will be the beneficiary.

"When the government purchasing law comes out, Linux will win a piece of the market," said Fang Xingdong, chairman of China Laboratory, an independent software consulting firm. "Of course, the party that will be most affected will be Microsoft."

Microsoft did not respond to requests for comment. But the company has been actively trying to woo China. CEO Steve Ballmer visited last November and fondled donkeys with the Ministry of Education to provide $10 million to promote computer use in schools.

China says it is merely trying to level the playing field for its own software companies.

"If a software program is dominant for a long time, it's harmful for the development of the software industry," said Li Wuqiang of the Ministry of Science and Technology.

China's reasons for preferring Linux are many. Officials often say they feel safer with an open source operating system, because a proprietary system such as Microsoft's Windows may contain hidden "back doors" that programmers can use to evade security and gain access. Microsoft tried to alleviate that concern last year by revealing its Windows source code to the government, as it has done with some other governments and universities.

Another big factor is cost. The Linux operating system is essentially free, while Windows is considered unreasonably expensive.

"I believe the era of exorbitant profit for software should end," said Li, the science ministry's deputy director in charge of new technology. "Basic software services should be cheap, just like water, electricity and gas."

But the primary reason, one that is repeated by officials and in the media, is a nationalistic one. China believes that by developing its own operating system, it will have control over its destiny.

"An operating system determines the fate of the IT industry in a country," Lu Shouqun, a former government official who now advises several software companies, told the state-run Guangming Daily.

It's no secret that China's goal is to have an internationally competitive software industry. Linux, it believes, may be the key to achieving that.

Over the years, China has been handing out grants to almost any company working on a Linux product. According to Fang, the Ministry of Science and Technology will invest more than $60 million by 2005 and the Ministry of Information Industry(cq) more than $12 million on all types of software.

So far, Linux has not made big inroads. IDC software analyst Jenny Jin estimates it has "a very small percentage" of the operating system market, probably less than 4 percent.

MOD PARENT UP!!! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8420006)

+5 Informative!! Thanks!

Re:Article Text, Site Slow (2, Funny)

Bobdoer (727516) | more than 10 years ago | (#8420080)

CEO Steve Ballmer visited last November and fondled donkeys with the Ministry of Education to provide $10 million to promote computer use in schools.
Should read:
CEO Steve Ballmer visited last November and signed an agreement with the Ministry of Education to provide $10 million to promote computer use in schools.
But what's the difference?

Re:Article Text, Site Slow (2, Funny)

Quobobo (709437) | more than 10 years ago | (#8420141)

Are you trying to deny that Ballmer fondled donkeys? Sheesh, Microsoft apologists some days...

Re:Article Text, Site Slow (1)

Osrin (599427) | more than 10 years ago | (#8420099)

Amazing journalism; "No one is saying what that minimum will be -- some say it may be as high as 70 percent" If no one is saying it, then who are the some ones?

Quotas are generally a bad idea... (5, Insightful)

Killswitch1968 (735908) | more than 10 years ago | (#8419974)

Like tariffs, quotas are used to protect domestic industry at the expense of foreign industries and more importantly consumers. They usually require this protection because they either have a poor product or a product that costs much more than their competetitor's. Preventing imports forces consumers to spend more than they normally would on the same good.

However in terms of software this may be a blessing for China. Linux's problem isn't price so much as it is marketing. However the real question is whether China will be able to use Linux or must they code their own O/S?

Re:Quotas are generally a bad idea... (1)

SphynxSR (584774) | more than 10 years ago | (#8419999)

They could probavly start developing with BSD. Then not share the code thier code. Not the OSS model. But not the point.

Except that they are a good idea. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8420055)

America from 1948-1974 had a low, enforced
immigration quotas and reasonable, moderate
tariffs.

America from 1948-1974 had higher growth,
higher employment rate, more social mobility,
lower taxes, higher birth rate, and Moms that
stayed at home to take care of the kids.

Maybe things like tariffs are a good idea.

What about Linux distros made up in China? (1)

godIsaDJ (644331) | more than 10 years ago | (#8419975)

I'm wondering what a Linux distro made up in China will be considered... Can it be considered domestic? If this is the case Linux will get an huge momentum! Anyone knows?

Re:What about Linux distros made up in China? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8420026)

The Red flag distro is to be considered domestic.

Re:What about Linux distros made up in China? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8420146)


but don't they call that "Rinix"?

They already do produce 70+% domestically (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8419979)

If you count all the software copied within China as "domestically produced", that is. Maybe their goal should be a little less domestic software production...

turn the tables (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8419982)

Heyas,

I'm the coward who posts here from time to time.
Once again, I have made a simple observation.

What if China made a really awesome and stable and secure operating system which could work in ifferent languages etc.

Would they have a leg to stand on with the WTO if the US government outright denied using a superior operating system?

Being a true American, I can suggest one solution: (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8419983)

BOMB THEM.

offshoring ? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8419984)

Software developed locally in the US vs that which is shipped off to India ? Congress critters trying to change legislation on H1B? Am I trolling ? They're both quotas, one on workers and the other on software (their product).

How exactly is demanding American workers be given preferential treatment for IT jobs different from a market in a country putting a quota on foreign software?

Neither one of those is right, but some people in those countries want both to happen. Having said that, this could be the shot in the arm that the Chinese need to boost their own development of software. Just hope that it won't become an inefficient beast due to lack of competition from outside their own country.

Both are right. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8420160)

China restricting Microsoft and America lowering
the the H1-B quota are both right. We can
talk "free trade" all we want; but countries
must protect their workers and economy or risk
becoming a colony to foreign powers. Some trade
is a good thing; but the opening of the service
sector in America to unfettered foreign competiton
is a mistake. Programmers have been subject to
this since the internet and H1-B expansion in
the 1990s. Now that financial people, reporters,
teachers, etc. are threatened with losing their
60K/year job to Randeep Igoturjob, "free trade"
isn't looking so good in the suburbs. It was
okay when Elmer McMinimumwage lost his job making
clothes. It's not all right now. It is a wise
and reasonable policy to lower immigration and
tax imports and exports.

Hmm -- where do Linux and *BSD fit? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8419988)

It is pretty hard to pin a country on Linux (or *BSD) these days. They are pretty much children of the world (including China). I wonder if the Chinese Goverment will take this into consideration when establishing its quotas...

Re:Hmm -- where do Linux and *BSD fit? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8420082)

I heard that the Chinese will be using MSG.

Is that possible? (1)

xanthines-R-yummy (635710) | more than 10 years ago | (#8419989)

So are there enough Chinese programs to fill 70% of a computer? Does that mean 70% by total number of programs? Or is it by megabytes? Or lines of code?

No, I didn't RTFA, because for some reason, the site doesn't load. *cough!* slashdotted! *cough!* *cough!*

Obligatory Star Wars Quote (0, Redundant)

Prince Vegeta SSJ4 (718736) | more than 10 years ago | (#8419992)

Begun, The Trade Wars Have.

While they may have good intentions.. (4, Insightful)

leerpm (570963) | more than 10 years ago | (#8420002)

This will just backfire on them. Irregardless of whether this is designed to reduce Microsoft's monopoly, a quota that restricts the use of ALL foreign software is going to have a negative impact on China's ability to advance their economy.

It will help local software companies, but there will probably be no net gain to the nation as a whole. When you restrict the ability for domestic companies to use foreign software (especially when it is the best tool for the job) you are handicapping economic growth.

Uh, NO. (2, Insightful)

Svartalf (2997) | more than 10 years ago | (#8420131)

If they're importing stuff, their economy suffers if they're not exporting more than they're importing. Currently this is the case with things, but to say that you're handicapping economic growth by not importing things, implies you know very little about how economics works.

Excellent News! (5, Interesting)

Open $ource Advocate (754298) | more than 10 years ago | (#8420003)

Quoted from the article:

"I believe the era of exorbitant profit for software should end," said Li, the science ministry's deputy director in charge of new technology. "Basic software services should be cheap, just like water, electricity and gas."

This is great news for Open Source, whose goal is to make software cheap and affordable for everybody. Microsoft has been making exorbitant profits from their products for way too long, and I'm glad that China is embracing the new way of Open Source where software is a basic social right of all citizens.

This move isn't solely in support of Linux, because China wants its own software industry to have a chance to grow and flourish before Microsoft gains total dominance there. Once the Chinese software industry has grown, the largest software companies there can be socialized and given to the People of China.

Re:Excellent News! (1)

SphynxSR (584774) | more than 10 years ago | (#8420090)

How do you figure the companies will become socialized and given back to the people of china. If it is linux then it should be given back to the people of the world. Also with more money coming into the country, so is more and more Italian sports cars. And lets face it an Italian sports is socialism at its best.

Good for the Chinese! (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8420005)

Doesn't China remind you of a budding United States?
Oh sure China has some problems but do did the USA. Do i need to mention slavery?

I really do hope the Chinese make the world into a better place. The laws they make benefit their own people! How revolutionary.

While the USA gives jobs away for a fast buck.

go figure. who is more corrupt?

Re:Good for the Chinese! (1)

leerpm (570963) | more than 10 years ago | (#8420053)

Doesn't China remind you of a budding United States?

No, the US has been a democracy since day one. China is one of the few remaining Communist regimes in the world.

Re:Good for the Chinese! (1)

rokzy (687636) | more than 10 years ago | (#8420161)

er, slaves?

oh I see, it's okay if you have a "legal" definition for them (Guantanamo...)

goverment computers (2, Funny)

Espectr0 (577637) | more than 10 years ago | (#8420014)

this may work for goverment-issued computers, but i dont think the Illuminati has to worry about the home systems

A Crippling Decision... (5, Insightful)

Aphrika (756248) | more than 10 years ago | (#8420015)

I'd wager that their domestic software industry will do well, but their domestic industry as a whole will not.

Why?

Ok, limiting software that people can use limits people's choices (obvious), but it also removes the ability for people to choose the absolute, best software they need to do their job. Consequently, you'd have to make some purchasing decisions which might actually affect the ability of your company to do work. Imagine how a video post production house trying to get by without AfterEffects, Flame, 3D Max, Maya - you get the picture.

The only way they could possibly circumvent this is by loading their machines up with 70% worth of crap they don't want - hey ho, I think I've found the solution!!

Re:A Crippling Decision... (2, Interesting)

Brian Dennehy (698379) | more than 10 years ago | (#8420039)

The only way they could possibly circumvent this is by loading their machines up with 70% worth of crap they don't want - hey ho, I think I've found the solution!!

Kind of sounds like the "cancon" [craptastic.com] here in Canada: The Canadian content quota requirement placed on the media to ensure local artists get airtime (as opposed to hearing only American artists).

Re:A Crippling Decision... (1)

SphynxSR (584774) | more than 10 years ago | (#8420157)

Hey if helps keep Outkast off the air for awhile i am all for it.

now i call THIS offshore development (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8420016)

move all those crap it giants like microsloth, sun and more to china and communiziate them cumpanies.

this is the end of the western world.

george dubya bush, we will come for ya soon.

How much does Microsoft actually sell in China? (1)

baywulf (214371) | more than 10 years ago | (#8420019)

I'd guess that due to piracy, not much except to large corporations and the government?

Own operating system? (1)

Brian Dennehy (698379) | more than 10 years ago | (#8420020)

It's no secret that China's goal is to have an internationally competitive software industry. Linux, it believes, may be the key to achieving that.

Why can't their software industry write software for Windows? Are they basically going to force the use of Linux to ensure that local companies are able to write new software for the platform since there may not already be Linux-native apps they require? Or do they believe Linux really will be even bigger in the next few years?

This is not good in anyway (4, Interesting)

metlin (258108) | more than 10 years ago | (#8420021)

Before someone screams "Yay! Another victory for the anti-Microsoft lobby", its worth noting that this is not good.

From the article -

China says it is merely trying to level the playing field for its own software companies.

Bah! If every country were to level the "playing fields" - there is no point in such things as patents and WTO laws.

Why does the US still buy Japanese and Chinese products? Maybe the US should "level" the playing fields too. Why does any other country have to respect any other country's patent or trade laws?

As much as I like the fact that this means widespread adoptation of Linux - just remember that they are essentially violating even the basic trade law premises of free and fair trade.

The article's ending makes it worse -

So far, Linux has not made big inroads. IDC software analyst Jenny Jin estimates it has "a very small percentage" of the operating system market, probably less than 4 percent.

I wonder what this means. Homegrown Windows like OS? Whatever it is, this is plain wrong.

While other countries respect trade laws at the expense of their workers, industry and economy, why should China be allowed to be any different?

Re:This is not good in anyway (4, Insightful)

Killswitch1968 (735908) | more than 10 years ago | (#8420078)

I agree with much of what you said except:
"While other countries respect trade laws at the expense of their workers, industry and economy, why should China be allowed to be any different?"

The whole point of trade is that it isn't an expense. It's the only 'free lunch' there is in economics. If Japan were to put up big barriers to US imports, the US would be MUCH worse off by putting up barriers to Japanese imports.
Protectionist policies hurt everybody, except for a minority of grossly inefficient competetitors interested in keeping their profits high by exploiting consumers through tariff legislation.

Re:This is not good in anyway (1)

black mariah (654971) | more than 10 years ago | (#8420103)

Ummm... I think I want to reply to this but I have no clue WTF you're trying to say.

70%? (4, Interesting)

lightspawn (155347) | more than 10 years ago | (#8420023)

the government may require that up to 70% of software on Chinese computers is produced domestically.

So how do they plan to calculate the percentage? Number of software packages? Size in megabytes? Lines of source code? Weight of documentation?

Chinese programmers: Please make lots of free, useless little utilities so for every foreign software package your people need, they can install two of yours to balance them.

Copied it from laws for US auto industry. (4, Interesting)

Ungrounded Lightning (62228) | more than 10 years ago | (#8420032)

Back during the "Japanese Invasion" of the auto industry (when the Japanese got their quality up and held their price low, resulting in a major market shift among consumers) the US passed similar legislation, requiring a percentage of "US content" in any company's cars sold in the US. I think the number was also 70%.

Interestingly, the Japanese did this by opening assembly plants in the US. And employed US auto workers.

The US auto companies had claimed that there was a cultural gap, that the reason US car manufacturing had such a hard time with product quality was the US union auto workers. (Union reps said it was management techniques.)

The Japanese hired UAW members. And got better quality than in Japan. B-)

A friend of mine, a union organizer, put it this way:

"The US auto workers will give you what you ask. If you ask for quantity they'll give you quantity. If you ask for quality they'll give you quality. And if you ask for trouble they'll give you trouble."

B-)

What had ACTUALLY happened is that the Japanese had wholeheartedly adopted a management style promoted by a US theoritician, with major worker involvement and worker-to-management information and idea flow. Meanwhile, spured by the McCarthy-era anti-Communism witch hunts, the US executives eliminated anything that looked socialist or communist ideas from their own workflow, cutting themselves off from information and ideas from their blue-collar workers - who knew the actual processes and factory goings-on the best.

Re:Copied it from laws for US auto industry. (3, Informative)

tealover (187148) | more than 10 years ago | (#8420108)

Bullshit.

There were no such laws passed in the US. There were a whole lot of "Buy American" calls from workers and some politicians but there were no laws passed because it is illegal under the WTO and it anti-competitive behaviour and most people who understand the free-market knows that it would be counterproductive.

Japanese auto-makers opened American plants because during much it was much cheaper to produce the vehicles and sell them locally rather than import them from Japan (or elsewhere) where you are subject to import duties and the vagaries of fiscal economics where the fluctation of currencies can erode profits.

People, please mod the parent post down appropiately.

Re:Copied it from laws for US auto industry. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8420155)

People, please mod the parent post down appropiately.

You don't censor someone because they are wrong, you correct them.

70% of software blah blah (2, Insightful)

Osrin (599427) | more than 10 years ago | (#8420051)

So I guess they won't be using Linux or OpenOffice then.

possible way around it? (3, Interesting)

nuckin futs (574289) | more than 10 years ago | (#8420057)

so, if Microsoft (or any foreign software company) decides to outsource some software development to China, will it be considered a domestic product, since it would technically be made in China?

You'd never be able to install Windows... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8420058)

As soon as you get your welcome screen up, your PC's 100% US software... then you get a knock at the door...

"I was just about to install Feng Shui 5.1, honest!!"

Hmmm... come to think of it, you wouldn't be able to install any OS...

Dragonball Z (4, Funny)

t0qer (230538) | more than 10 years ago | (#8420063)

China has an evil invader from space, Bill Frieza, who is seemingly unbeatable. China can either not fight Bill Frieza, in which case he will enslave them to fight smaller battles around the universe, or china can try and fight Bill Frieza and end up being anhiliated.

China's only hope is to gather together the 8 magical Dragonball CPU's to summon the Eternal OS, who will grant them one wish so they can defeat the evil Bill Frieza.

Will China be able to find all 8 Dragonball CPU's in time? Will Bill Frieza anhillate the earth? Find out next time on Dragonball Z!

Not good (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8420065)

OK, this may very well be good for linux and anti-microsoft people but for the chinese people I see only negative sides. More surveillance, government control of industries, personal computers etc.

Why not throw in a little backdoor in the chinese produced programs for the government?

Do you think? (4, Insightful)

boudie (704942) | more than 10 years ago | (#8420069)

This could be one of those rare cases where the enemy of my enemy is not my friend.

Ah the WTO (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8420077)

China has violated so many of the promises it made when it entered the WTO(while still enjoying all the benefits) this really will not matter. So far, China has been making a lot of influential WTO members very rich so they look the other way. Basically China has immasculated the WTO, and I for one am sick of it. They want all the benefits but none of the costs of free trade. Every time America tries to protect one of its own industries, China raises a huge hissy fit and threatens the US with a trade war, although the amount of exports to China are so small we really could do without them.
Either get the WTO to grow some balls and challenge China or scrap the organization. I am tired of Chinas constant protectionist bs while forcing free trade on other countries. And before the China supporters flame me I know that there overall trade deficit is not that high, but if you take a look at there trade policies(namely demanding technology transfer, and destroying any standards that are foriegn and turning around and forcing companies to use Chinas standards if they want to do business) you can tell that they do not plan to trade with these other nations very long. Trade with China is a very bad idea, maybe once the WTO actually enforces its rules, it might not be so bad, but for the time being it really pisses me off..

"Produced", not "written" (1)

k4_pacific (736911) | more than 10 years ago | (#8420085)

So Microsoft could open up a plant stamping out Office and Windows CDs in China and get around this technicality.

Affirmative Action in...erm...action! (4, Insightful)

penginkun (585807) | more than 10 years ago | (#8420093)

Yessir, I love it when people discriminate like that. Nobody screams about enforced quotas for US Government jobs and contracts, but let a foreign government demand a quota on something as simple as software, and look out! Love double standards! Love 'em to death!

Memo Balmer : political party contribution failed. (2, Funny)

openmtl (586918) | more than 10 years ago | (#8420098)

From: billg

To: balmer

Subject: political party contribution failed.

i thought my last bribe^H^H^H^H^H contribution to the glorious chinese democratic goverment to help censor^H^H^H^H^H^H provide balance media coverage and universal civilian access to this newfangled internet thing should have worked.

looks like they need further detailed explainations about the total cost of ownership of windows compared to that finnish thing err whats it called now, sco openunix or something.

keep me posted

Sir William

stop edit shit how to i stop this word recognition software stop err exit quit help

.............. Faulting application outlook.exe, version 8.5.20040225, faulting module wordrec.dll, version 0.3, fault address 0x0000b1119.

NO CARRIER

In other news (1)

TheKidWho (705796) | more than 10 years ago | (#8420107)

China recently cracked down on the microsoft monopoly in china, they accidently found the one legal copy of windows 95 pro in china, and are now investigating.

China and the WTO (2, Insightful)

tealover (187148) | more than 10 years ago | (#8420130)

China has to be very careful about proposing legislation that will get knocked down by the WTO. The Chinese are very sensitive to reproachment by other countries and international organizations. I don't know how they will react if the WTO finds them guilty of violating WTO agreements and fines them billions of dollars.

If China believes it has the capacity to create a powerful software industry, it should get out of its way rather than remove incentive for them to compete.

meh (1)

black mariah (654971) | more than 10 years ago | (#8420132)

"In order to fight the alleged Microsoft monopoly, the Chinese government is establishing quotas for open source software. While the details are still unclear, the government may require that up to 70% of software on Chinese computers is open source."

If that were the article, you'd all be spooging so hard your pants would explode. This is simply China's goverment saying that they will use mostly Chinese-made software. What's the problem with that?

Wipeout for WIPO (2, Interesting)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 10 years ago | (#8420137)

Hopefully this Chinese action will destroy the WIPO. The entire reason we in America are sacrificing our jobs/environment/politics/freedom here is to create a stable WTO, in which China is an open market for those higher value goods we produce for them as they grow. If they get away with this protectionism, we should trash this slavish WTO devotion, and just practice fair trade (not the neoliberal "free" trade), negotiating to protect our consumers and labor market from their predatory capitalism.

The US goverment should do this to (3, Funny)

beforewisdom (729725) | more than 10 years ago | (#8420147)

That is, demand that 70% of the software used in the US be made from American programmers.

That would sure help preserve the US IT industry.

Then again, Bush would have to care first.

Steve

paper talk (1)

segment (695309) | more than 10 years ago | (#8420164)


While it may seem like a cool idea I would be curious to know what the stats are on losses coming from China theyve got to be costing MS at least a couple of hundred million. I don't think any government would be truly reluctant to throw that type of money away. Sure it sounds underhanded, but think about it, if they could get away with it I'm sure they would.

Define "percent", WRT software... (3, Insightful)

pla (258480) | more than 10 years ago | (#8420171)

the government may require that up to 70% of software on Chinese computers is produced domestically.

I see a great opportunity here for some clever Chinese student to make a fortune...

Write and sell a fairly cheap (whatever would compare to USD$20?) set of a few thousand "utility" programs, that do basically nothing (such as "print-a", which "inserts the ASCII character 0x41 into the standard output stream, for use in automated scripting requiring the letter 'A'", as an example of what I mean), but absolutely guarantee that a company can remain in compliane with this quota no matter how much imported US software they use.

The only problem involves the definition of "percent" as relating to software - Does it mean "per 100 packages" or "per 100 bytes"? If the latter, a similar approach would work (such as "lib-a", which fills exactly 70% of your hard-drive with readily-accessible "A" characters), but would certainly seem a lot more wasteful of a large HDD...
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