Microsoft has launched a new anti-piracy campaign in China, which intends to highlight the security risks of buying counterfeit software.
In a recent investigation, Microsoft purchased 169 PCs from shops in China and found that all were installed with pirated versions of Windows, with 91 percent of them containing malware or deliberate security vulnerabilities.
"What we are finding is that increasingly cybercriminals are targeting both businesses and consumers right here in China," said Nick Psyhogeos, vice president of Microsoft's original equipment manufacturer (OEM) business solutions group.
The U.S. company has long battled China's software piracy, which is among the highest in the world. Last year China's illegal software market was valued at close to US$9 billion, while the legal market was valued at $2.7 billion, according to a study
by the Business Software Alliance.
Microsoft last week said users of the counterfeit Windows software are often saddled with unreliable PCs running malware that can steal users' credit card and bank account information. The anti-piracy campaign was launched during a busy holiday season in the country.