In Technology Circles, we use acronyms like B2B, B2G and B2C and they are generally understood by most people...In China there's a acronym widely discussed called "C2C"...or, Copy to China. Perhaps in a jokingly sort of way...but, If you stop to think about it, it has very profound meaning, especially when you're talking about software. Everything can be copied here in China...and its nearly impossible to distinguish between the copy and the real thing.
In terms of technology/software, its important to put things into perspective. Total IT spending in China is approximately 1.5B, with software spending in the order of $200M. Essentially, the largest country in the world has the lowest IT spend...but things are changing at a very rapid pace. That also includes legalized software percentages...2 years ago software piracy rates were well north of 90%...today, they are in the high 80's and continually improving.
So what needs to happen to continue progress...or better yet, dramatically effect how people/businesses in china use/acquire software. I start with the notion of Software + Services...something that Microsoft is making a big strategic bet on. Simply put, it means you get value beyond the software you get in the box...this value could be realized in many ways, including flexible hosting, multi-platform/device support, add-on applications, information subscriptions/services... If people (anywhere in the world) see value in something beyond the advertised/basic service, I believe they will be willing to pay for it...perhaps, pay for the legal/licensed version instead of the copy.
Something to think about...
China is an amazing Country...this has, and continues to be an eye opening life experience for me...I will continue to share my thoughts and observations with all of you. Your comments are welcome.