Microsoft's latest operating system Windows 8 on display. (File photo/Chen Jhuo-bang)
Shanghai's Ruichuang Network made a formal apology through its website on Thursday to Microsoft for copyright infringement, agreeing to pay 36 million yuan (US$5.7 million) in compensation.
Microsoft sued the website's president Han Meng, vice president Han Hong and another employee for illegally disseminating its software without authorization. The link leading to the download of the software had been clicked over 32 million times and the software downloaded more than 11.32 million times. The company was also charged with giving away 1.2 million pirated copies of the software to electronics stores across the country, according to the Chinese-language Beijing Times.
The US software giant originally demanded compensation of 100 million yuan (US$16 million). After mediation in Chinese court, it accepted reduced terms on the condition that Ruichuang Network apologize and promise to respect the company's intellectual property rights in future.
The Shanghai company was founded in January 2006 with registered capital of 53.92 million yuan (US$8.6 million). It is one of the major internet firms in the city, having made over 300 million yuan (US$481 million) from its browser and software download services and handing in 50 million yuan (US$8 million) in taxes in 2011, according to Beijing Times.
The US technology firm has stepped up its crackdown on piracy in China's market in recent years. It sued Beijing on-demand software service providers MainOne and B2B.cn and received 3.18 million yuan (US$510,000) in compensation on Nov. 14.