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Chinese Fly Red Flag With Ban On Microsoft

Date: Sat, 8 Jan 2000 12:04:59 +0000
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From: Robert Henderson <[email protected]>
Subject: Bill Gates: "Foreign Devil"

           Note: The important point in this story is China's resentment
           of the West.  There are those in the West who think China can
           be  turned into a cuddly capitalist toy.  This is a  profound
           error. China is simply biding her time to gain revenge on the
           "foreign devils." Robert Henderson


           Chinese fly Red Flag with ban on Microsoft

           By David Rennie In Beijing

           CHINA  is to ban its vast bureaucracy from using  Microsoft's
           forthcoming  Windows 2000 software in favour of a  home-grown
           system  known as "Red Flag".

           The  official  Yangcheng Evening News said the  policy  would
           save  billions  of  pounds,   and  represent  a  triumph   of
           self-reliance  comparable to the development of China's first
           atomic bomb.

           "The important government ministries will not permit the  use
           of Windows 2000 on their computers,"  the paper said,  citing
           senior   officials.  Instead,  they would use the "Red  Flag"
           Chinese operating system based on the rival "Linux" platform.
           Older  versions of Windows currently dominate the  burgeoning
           computer  industry in China,  though few of the  millions  of
           copies  sold  earn a single cent for the  company's  founder,
           Bill Gates.

           Chinese  state-backed  software  experts  have  alleged  that
           Windows contains a secret "back door"  allowing data to  flow
           to  Microsoft  when a computer is logged on to the  Internet,
           jeopardising government security.

           Officials  at  the Ministry of Information  Industry  said  a
           formal  ban  was  unlikely  in  the  near  future.  "But  the
           government is  advocating that users buy domestic  software,"
           an official said yesterday.

           The  reports  are  a  fresh   public  relations  problem  for
           Microsoft  as  it  attempts to turn a  profit  in  the  China
           market,       which     is     marked     by 
           hero-worship   of  Mr  Gates  and'   outbreaks   of   prickly

           Microsoft  has poured resources into China.  But the  company
           has also made enemies by launching legal actions against some
           of the  countless firms that steal its software. Up to 90 per
           cent of software used in China is pirated,  including much of
           the programming  used by government ministries.

           Mr  Gates  is  said by local  Microsoft  executives  to  have
           sanctioned  one  innovative solution, agreeing  to  pose  for
           photographs  with  senior Chinese managers who  sign  belated
           software  licensing  agreement at $1  million~  (600,000)  a
           For  all  such efforts, Microsoft's China  managing  director
           abruptly  quit  the firm last I year,  accusing Mr  Gates  of
           failing  to   understand  or  respect  local  conditions.  Wu
           Shihong  later  maintained that Microsoft had  forced  local'
           firms to steal its products by  setting its prices too high.

           Ms Wu's Western colleagues recall her as a fiery patriot  who
           held  an  emotional  company  protest  meeting  after  Nato's
           bombing of  the Chinese embassy in Belgrade. In China she has
           become a heroine.

Robert Henderson
[email protected]

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