Qingdao's high-tech, modern environment is at the forefront of intellectual property rights protection in the nation. [Photo / China Daily]
The Qingdao city government and Microsoft China recently signed a purchase contract for copyrighted office software used in government offices.
"We hope to make a contribution to Qingdao's further economic growth with our better products and services, " said company Vice-President Zeng Liang.
The deal includes more than 15,000 authorized copies of office software worth 76 million yuan ($11.4 million) to be used by various administrative and legal organizations in the city including the courts, prosecutors offices, the Party committee and the political consultative conference committee.
"This is also a response to the call from the State Council last year to crack down on pirated office software," said Wu Jingjian, the city's deputy mayor and leader of the purchase effort.
"The software industry, as a strategic sector, is crucial to the national economy and widespread use of computers," he said. "Copyright protection will help to rectify and standardize the market."
"As well, it is urgent to further expansion of the opening up, transformation of financial development and improving the country's international reputation."
It is not the first time Qingdao has been in the limelight for intellectual property protection.
In 2009, the city was designated by the State Intellectual Property Office (SIPO) as a national intellectual property demonstration city, with 15 local companies and public institutions selected as pilot operations.
Among the 50 cities that applied for selection in the copyright demonstration city project, Qingdao was one of the two approved by the National Copyright Administration.
The coastal city had 22 well-known trademarks and 249 famous provincial trademarks by the end of 2009, leading all cities in Shandong province.
The city's insistence on intellectual protection also contributed to sealing the deal for genuine office software 10 months earlier than required by the State Council.
"It not only reflects our efforts to implement the national copyright strategy, but also accelerates development of the copyright demonstration city," said Yin Qingwei, deputy director of the city's Cultural, Radio, Press and Publishing Bureau.
"The government set up a special team led by a vice-mayor and formulated several regulations to further advance the move," Yin said.
Authorities will also map out a long-term plan to establish needed files and supervision for the office software project to standardize its implementation, the deputy director said.