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Going Global Case Study

Case Title:

Microsoft in China: Business Diplomacy

Publication Year : 2004

Authors: Dakshi Mohanty & T. Phani Madhav

Industry: Information Technology and IT Enabled Services


Case Code: GGL0017

Teaching Note: Not Available

Structured Assignment: Not Available

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Although Microsoft Corporation was an early entrant into the Chinese software market, it is still struggling to make profits in the mainland. Despite the fact that most Chinese used Microsoft's software, the company earned very little, as 95% of users used illegally copied software. And every time the company pressurised the government to crack down on the pirates, the government made moves to support Linux, the rival of Windows. The founder and chairman of the company, Bill Gates frequently visited China to meet Chinese top government officials, business leaders, experts and senior managers to sensitise them to the colossal loss in business.

Pedagogical Objectives:

  • To discuss the initiatives taken by Microsoft in China to strengthen its position in the huge Chinese software market and the measures taken by the company to develop strong relationships with the Chinese government.


  • Introduction
  • Dilemmas and Initiatives
  • Microsoft in Late 1990s
  • Microsoft in Early 2000s
  • Problems Persist

Keywords : Microsoft, Microsoft in China, Bill Gates, Jiang Zemin, Piracy,Business Environment Case Study, Red Flag Linux, Timothy Chen,Government and Business Environment Case Study, Zhongguancun Software Co, Great Wall plan, Steve Ballmer, Venus project, Chinese software companies, Microsoft's government security programmes, Windows source code, Hopen Software Engineering

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