Thursday, April 20, 2006

Hu Jintao's visit to US

Hu Jintao, China's president, began his visit to America by meeting with business leaders in Seattle. Mr. Hu kicked off his tour with a visit to Microsoft's headquarters, and later dined at the home of Microsoft founder Bill Gates.

Yesterday's Financial Times coverage centered largely on the leader's recent stance towards intellectual property rights, and what that could mean for Microsoft. "China has made a series of announcements on IPR issues in the lead up to Mr. Hu's visit issuing a directive for computers to be pre-loaded with legitimate software and for governments not to use pirated versions."

This is very good news for Microsoft as they will probably serve up one the main pre-loaded options. Lenovo has announced a deal to sell computers in China w/ Microsoft software pre-loaded. Lenovo's chairman said the policy has already had a big impact in China. 70 percent of customers are now buying comps pre-loaded with Windows XP, up from 10 percent before November.

Today's visit to the White House did not go as smoothly as planned, as ceremonies for the visiting leader were interrupted by a woman protesting against persecution of Falun Gong practitioners. According to the Financial Times, the woman's outburst went on for five minutes before secret service agents were able to lead her away. The footage of the interrupted ceremony has been censored by Chinese media outlets, but was seen by internet users checking into US news sites.