When Microsoft released their newest WGA scheme to stop piracy, all of the world went along with the new scheme. All but one. In China where almost 82% [or higher] is pirated software, the Chinese consumers stood fast and said no. No to Microsoft. No to WGA. No to anti-piracy endeavors. The Chinese were soon to find a free product key at the University of Pennsylvania, which is freely available on the web. Such is the uproar in China over Microsoft’s WGA program, that the Chinese feel Microsoft will relent.

According to this article it states:

But fighting these problems is proving a sensitive affair in an increasingly nationalistic country that is well aware of its weight in the global economy.

Last month, Dong Zhengwei, a Beijing-based lawyer, called on the police to pursue Microsoft for what he called a “hacker-style attack” on consumers.

Local bloggers have also taken up the issue in fervent postings. “If we ignore them for six months, they will come back begging us to take it for free,” one blogger called ‘liangyouliang’ wrote at the weekend. “If they don’t seek good relations with us and not give us a little something for our [exported] clothes, then the people of their country will go naked.”

Well aware of the mood expressed by such postings, the government has also criticised Microsoft. “Violating consumers’ rights just to protect your own rights is inappropriate,” warns Liu Binjie, Commissioner of the National Copyright Administration. He adds that in future he wants the company to discuss anti-piracy measures with the government before they are launched.

Like other multinationals doing business in China, Microsoft cannot ignore that message.

This should prove to be interesting since Microsoft normally does not back down to anyone. But China may pose a different challenge since even the government doesn’t think Microsoft should be a fat cat at the expense of consumers.

Comments welcome.